Statutory Alert: New requirements for stability instruments on tankers Applicability: Owners and managers of oil tankers, chemical tankers and gas carriers
New stability instrument requirements will apply to all tankers constructed (keel laid) on or after 1 January, 2016. These ships will be required to fit an approved stability instrument, capable of verifying compliance with intact and damage stability requirements.
Tankers constructed (keel laid) before 1 January, 2016 must also comply with the requirements (by confirming or upgrading existing equipment, or installing new equipment) at the first applicable scheduled renewal survey of the ship after 1 January, 2016, but not later than 1 January, 2021. Alternatively, owners and operators can apply to their flag administration for a waiver if their vessel is loaded in accordance with approved conditions and falls into one of the following categories:
tankers that are on a dedicated service, with a limited number of permutations of loading so that all anticipated conditions have been approved in the stability information provided to the master in accordance with the relevant regulations
tankers where stability verification is made remotely by a means approved by the administration
tankers that are loaded within an approved range of loading conditions
tankers constructed before 1 July, 2016, provided with approved limiting KG/GM curves covering all applicable intact and damage stability requirements.
The stability instrument must be approved by Lloyd’s Register or the flag administration, taking into account the performance standards recommended by the IMO (Part B, chapter 4 of the 2008 IS Code; Annex, Section 4 of the Circular MSC.1/Circ.1229; and the technical standards defined in part 1 of the Circular MSC.1/Circ. 1461). The loading instrument should have a Document of Approval which clearly reflects this capability. The Lloyd’s Register (LR) Program Installation Test certificate will serve this purpose if it clearly states that both intact and damage stability aspects are covered by the software.
If vessels require a new and/or upgraded stability software installation to comply with the latest requirements, the software should have a valid LR General Approval Certificate clearly specifying ‘Type 2’ or ‘Type 3’ software. To avoid complications associated with developing suitable KG/GM limit curves and their potential restriction on operational capacity, we strongly recommend that Type 3 stability software is fitted on board.
The new requirements have been introduced to MARPOL Annex I and the IBC, IGC, BCH and GC Codes by IMO Resolutions MEPC.248(66), MSC.369(93), MSC.370(93), MSC.376(93) and MSC.377(93)), respectively, to make the provision of a stability instrument mandatory on board all oil tankers, chemical tankers and gas carriers. Vessels are still required to carry approved stability documentation regardless of whether they are fitted with an approved stability instrument or not.
IOPP Form B certificates for oil tankers and IBC/BCH and IGC/GC Certificates of fitness for chemical tankers and gas carriers will be required to reflect the provision of an approved stability instrument on board in accordance with the new regulations, or, alternatively, the applicable waivers granted by the administration.
What do I need to do?
Owners and operators must ensure their vessels are fitted with compliant stability instruments by the relevant compliance date, or, if appropriate, apply to the vessel’s flag administration for a waiver.