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DOTC okays rules on double-hulled ships

January 24, 2007

By VG Cabuag
Reporter, BusinessMirror
Jan. 24, 2007

UNDER amended regulations, tankers from 5,000 deadweight tons (dwt) up carrying crude oil, fuel oil, heavy diesel oil or lubricating oil, or any type of lubricant or chemical will have to be double-hulled as further assurance against accidental spills that can destroy marine and coastal environments. But all oil tankers “including tankers below 600 dwt shall be double hulled by April 2008.”

The new rules were issued by the Department of Transportation and Communications Tuesday, and will take effect next April. They will be administered and implemented by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

The rules are in Marina Circular 2007-01, “Rules to Implement Double Hull Requirement Under Marpol 73/78, Annex 1, as Amended, on Oil Tankers Operating in Philippine Domestic Waters.”

Double-hull ships were defined by the circular as those vessels “constructed with wing tanks or spaces that extend for the full depth of the ship’s side and arranged such that the cargo tanks are located inboard of the moulded line of the side shell plating and has a double bottom tank.”

Double bottom, on the other hand, is the general term for all watertight spaces contained between the outside bottom plating, the tank top, and the margin plates.

Sanctions and penalties for violators include immediate suspension of safety certificates of tankers for 60 days, delisting from the Philippine registry, revocation of the vessel’s authority to operate, and a penalty of P50,000 for each day of operation.

The circular was supposed to have been approved by the Marina board, headed by the DOTC secretary, weeks after the MT Solar 1 sank off Guimaras Island in August and spilled some 2 million liters of oil. But the shake-up in high-level DOTC positions delayed its promulgation.

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