AMSA released a Marine Notice providing advice to ship owners and operators, regarding specific regulations to the transfer of oil cargoes between oil tankers at sea. The advice can be applied to domestic commercial vessels, regulated Australian vessels and foreign flagged vessels.
AMSA informs that Masters and Operators have to be aware of the following key points for STS operations:
- The vessel carries a plan prescribing how STS operations are to be conducted (STS Operations Plan) and the person in overall control of the STS operation is appropriately qualified to perform the duties.
- That notification of a scheduled STS operation is provided to the local administration (AMSA) not less than 48 hours in advance.
- Records of STS operations be retained on board for three years.
Furthermore, all necessary precautions in order to ensure personnel safety and environmental protection, must be taken for every ship-to-ship transfer of cargoes, persons, or other goods undertaken at sea in the vicinity of the Australian coast, except from outside port limits.
Moreover, AMSA requests an early notification be forwarded, when operations like these are being conducted, in order for maritime safety information to be disseminated.
Lastly, it is requested the notification sent to include the following:
- The date and location of the proposed transfer and full details of the vessels involved
- The purpose of the transfer
- If relevant, technical details of the cargo to be transferred (including temperatures and pressures)
- Whether other craft, like tags, are to be in attendance and what equipment is to be provided to assist arrangements for oversight of other vessels in the transfer area.