From May 14, USCG will require compliance with APC

USCG.jpgThe American P&I Club issues the following Circular regarding Alaska Alternative Planning Criteria:

As from 14 May 2012, the US Coast Guard (USCG) will require compliance with new Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) for certain vessels operating in Western Alaska. Historically, it has not been possible for tank owners operating in Western Alaska carrying oil to comply fully with the vessel response planning requirements of the Oil Pollution Act 1990. In consequence, the USCG allowed waivers in respect of these requirements.

However, in 2010, the USCG announced that shipowners would be required to fully comply with these regulations or adhere to approved Alternative Planning Criteria. On May 2011, the Alaska Marine Exchange published
proposals for new Alternative Planning Criteria. The criteria have now been finalized.

Accordingly, with effect from May 14, 2012, oil tank vessel owners and owners of vessels carrying oil as secondary cargo1 in certain areas of Western Alaska while going to or from a port in the United States will be required to comply with the new requirements. These areas are the areas of Western Alaska outside Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound regions and within 200 miles of the US coastline.

The new requirements

In order to meet the new requirements owners will be required to obtain a Certificate of Participation from Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network and to contract with the OSRO, Alaska Chadux. Evidence that these requirements have been met must be included in the relevant Vessel Response Plan.

Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network (AMPRN)

AMPRN was established to administer the operational and equipment procurement requirements of the APC. Full details of how to obtain a Certificate of Participation are to be found on the AMPRN website (www.ak-mprn.org). The fees charged by AMPRN are USD 6,000 per vessel per calendar
year for oil tankers and USD 1,800 per vessel per calendar year for vessels carrying oil as a secondary cargo.

Alaska Chadux

A copy of the Alaska Chadux contract can be obtained from Mr J Allen (jallen@chadux.com). However, Members should note that the contract does not comply with International Group (IG) guidelines on vessel response plans and therefore the liabilities under the contract are not fully
covered under standard P&I insurance. It is possible for Members to gain access to additional cover and those wishing for such cover are advised to contact the Club.

The USCG has published FAQs (a set of Frequently Asked Questions) which can be seen via the following link: (http://homeport.uscg.mil/anchorage). These are also attached for ease of reference.

Members are also asked to note that it is only necessary for owners to enroll with AMPRN when their existing Interim Operating Authorization (IOA) obtained from the USCG headquarters expires.

Source: The American P&I Club