Tank cleaning is one of the key operations on board tanker carriers as it removes any hydrocarbon vapours, liquids or residues from tanks. Tank cleaning is required for many reasons, such as to carry clean ballast, remove sediments from tank top plating, prepare the tankers for internal inspections or prior to entering dry dock.
For ships certified of Noxious Liquid Substances in bulk, the Procedures & Arrangements Manual (P&A) is a requirement as outcome of MARPOL Annex II, which includes the details of tank washing.
Recently IMO has adopted MARPOL Annex II and IBC & BCH codes amendments to address the issues of tank washing with high viscosity (but not harmful) oil which were washed ashore in the English Channel. In this regard a new special area has been incorporated under the title “North Western European Waters”.
Following the amendments, MEPC. 315 (74) requires the revision of P&A manuals in order to include the new requirements. As these requirements are going to come into force on 1st January 2021, the P&A Manual amendments shall be required to be actioned by all ships subject to MARPOL Annex II surveys, by the date of entry into force.
Ship managers should have the plans of applicable managed tankers revised to include the amendments of MEPC. 315 (74) and approved by RO prior the date of implementation (1st January 2021).
You may also find further information on MARPOL ANNEX II Amendments at SAFETY4SEA