In response to regulations enacted on March 1, 2010 on the Prevention and Control of Vessel-Induced Marine Environment Pollution, a Hong Kong based firm – OSRO China Ltd - has laid the foundation for a consortium of oil spill response contractors throughout China’s ports that fulfills China’s latest pollution control legislation.
Head of the Hong Kong operation, David Schaus said: “From our past experience and relationships with oil sludge collection contractors, we have been able to build a network of Level 1 responder applicants, that, on approval from China’s Maritime Safety Authority (MSA), will form a turn-key pollution control product that will allow ship owners to sign a single Agency Agreement while meeting all statutory requirements.”
OSRO China was founded as a result of the Chinese Government’s recent approval of the Regulations of The People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Vessel Induced Marine Environment Pollution. Of particular concern to ship owners was the requirement for pollution control agreements to be executed with local Oil Spill Response Organizations for ships carrying hazardous substances or of greater than 10,000 Gross Tonnes (GRT).
The newly introduced requirement would require ship owners to have contracts in place with local oil spill response organizations – which currently do not exist. Previously, the China MSA has called on existing oil sludge collectors and/or tank cleaning contractors to assist the MSA as and when required during pollution incidents. In the past, these companies have had oil pollution clean-up equipment on hand for their normal operations, in addition to access to the MSA’s inventory.
The new China legislation stipulates a licensing process (to be approved by the MSA) for potential oil spill response contractors. On approval of which they would be able to contract with ship owners to become responsible for any pollution clean-up requirements from their ships.
On February 26, 2010, the Shenzhen Maritime Safety Administration notice No. 38 of 2010 confirmed that the regulations would go into effect on March 01, 2010 and advised that while evaluations and qualifications of pollution control companies were still on-going, shipping companies may sign contracts with those Marine Pollution Response companies (applicants) already registered with the MSA and specified in Appendix 2 of the regulation.
OSRO China Ltd’s sister company, Baoyu Seaclean , an established oil sludge collection, pollution control and tank cleaning company in its own right, is one of the companies that have applied for a Level 1 approval as an Oil Spill Response organization in Shenzhen and is included in Appendix 2 of the regulation authorizing it to sign agreements in the interim period.
An Agreement is now being offered by OSRO China Ltd, based on international guidelines from the P+I Clubs (Protection & Indemnity insurance) and ITOPF (International Tanker Operators Oil Pollution Fund) which, pending formal MSA approval in each port, will meet the statutory requirements of the above regulations.
“Our Agreement will provide a Pan-China coverage, commencing with the 10 major ports.” Schaus continued. “The aim of the network is to start with a Level 1 responder in each major port and then expand into other ports until complete coverage has been achieved. Our goal is to relieve ship owners of the obvious problem of signing individual, non-standard pollution control agreements in every port their ships call in China.”
As the local China partner of OSRO China Ltd., Baoyu Seaclean will be responsible for the organization of the China network, having past relationships with related companies in major ports. At present, the network has agreements in place with Level 1 responders (applicants) in the following ports - Shenzhen, Qingdao, Xiamen, Shanghai, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Tianjin, QinhuangDao, Dalian and Yingkou – subject to the licensing process being completed and officially announced by the relevant MSA in each port.
OSRO China Ltd., will be responsible for the marketing and contracting of international ship owners to the network, while also ensuring strict compliance with best practices, guidelines and pricing structure amongst its members.