NRC Addendum is outside the International Group approval guidelines
The UK P&I Club has issued Circular on US Vessel Response Plan to inform for the requirement within the NRC Addendum which is outside the International Group approval guidelines. According to the requirement , non-tank shipowners trading to the United States of America (US) should have in place federal Vessel Response Plans by 30 January 2014.
In a previous circular non tank owners were advised that the International Group (IG) Clubs would not be continuing the retainer agreements with MSRC and NRC (which were originally introduced to mitigate the costs of response in the US for nontank vessels, and to facilitate compliance with California state law contingency plan requirements) and that in future, therefore, non-tank vessel owners would need to contract with either MSRC or NRC directly.
The MSRC and NRC contracts which conform with the IG Vessel Response Guidelines are as follows:
MSRC: Footer dated September 27, 1996
With regard to dispersants NRC have introduced an Addendum entitled DISPERSANT AMENDMENT RELEASE with footer DISPERSANT AMENDMENT RELEASE – December 2013. This conforms with International Group guidelines.
With regard to MSRC – in August 2011 they introduced the following clause in conjunction with a Dispersants Addendum:
2.01(e) – Discharges Involving Dispersant Services. MSRC may offer from time to time to provide aircraft, vessels or other services or Resources in connection with the supply or application of dispersants for Spill Events (“Dispersant Services”). Any additional or different terms and conditions applicable to the provision of Dispersant Services for such Spill Events will be set forth in an addendum to this Agreement executed by MSRC and the Company in advance or at the time of callout for the Spill Event. Dated: August 10, 2011.
The UK P&I Club advise its member to note that the effect of this clause is that before providing dispersant services, MSRC reserves the right to require the owner to sign an Addendum on unspecified terms. As a result of this uncertainty this clause does not conform with IG VRP guidelines since by agreeing to it the member accepts that before dispersants are provided he/she may have to enter into an agreement with MSRC which exposes the member to liabilities falling outside the scope of Club cover.
Accordingly, the UK P&I Club would suggest that MSRC be asked to delete the text highlighted in italics, in which case the contract and additional clause will conform with IG guidelines.
Copies of the appropriate MSRC and NRC contracts are attached as PDF to UK P&I Club’s circular
Source: The UK P&I Club