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Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan Changes

January 6, 2004

Houston, TX - ABS Consulting would like to inform you of recent changes in the development of shipboard oil pollution emergency plans (SOPEPs). The changes are a result of amended IMO guidelines, revised US Coast Guard review policy and the addition of a Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan. The following is a brief description of these changes.

IMO Annex 8 (Resolution MEPC.86 (44)) amended the previous guidelines established for the development of shipboard oil pollution emergency plans (SOPEPs). These new requirements are applicable to all new SOPEPs and resubmissions. However, SOPEPs that have already been approved by the Administration need not be modified. A detailed synopsis of the changes can be found in "Guidelines for the Development of Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plans," 2001 Edition.

The US Coast Guard has made changes to their SOPEP review policy in order to reflect the IMO requirements. The changes to the US Coast Guard review policies apply to all plans under review (i.e. new plans, resubmitted plans, revised plans, etc.). A detailed summary of the changes can be found at: www.uscg.mil/vrp/news/SOPEPannouncement.shtml

The Panama Canal Authority issued Advisory No. 30-2003. In this advisory, all vessels transiting the Canal must have submitted a PCSOPEP (Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan) to the Authority by January 1, 2004. The PCSOPEP may be prepared as an appendix to an existing Regulation 26 SOPEP or OPA 90 Vessel Response Plan (VRP). Some exemptions do exist under this advisory.

In order to manage these and future changes, ABS Consulting offers many beneficial services. We are available to generate, revise, update and submit SOPEPs and PCSOPEPs for your fleet of vessels on your behalf. We also provide annual review service in which we review your vessel's SOPEP annually, incorporate any changes and then submit all changes to the flag state or vessel's classification society on your behalf for approval. All documentation is generated on your behalf and distributed to your company and vessel fleet accordingly.

We offer industry competitive rates and would like the opportunity to discuss with you how our services would benefit your company.




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