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China publishes new measures for ship pollution response regime

MSA no longer publishes recommended SPRO Agreement wording and parties are now free to negotiate all terms, updates No




sergio souza

Sachin Shanbhag, Claims Director of marine insurer, North on Friday (21 February) published an article on new regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the prevention and control of marine pollution from ships:

We refer Members to previous Circulars resting with Circular No 2015/013 of June 2015 on the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on the Prevention and Control of Marine Pollution from Ships and the requirement that Owners/Operators of (a) any ship carrying polluting and hazardous cargoes in bulk or (b) any other ship above 10,000 GT enter into a pollution clean-up contract with a Ship Pollution Response Organisation (SPRO) before the ship enters a PRC port or engages in loading, discharge or ship-to-ship transfers outside of the port but within 20 nautical miles off shore.

Members are informed that the PRC Maritime Safety Agency (MSA) recently published new Measures of Administration on Agreement for Ship Pollution Response Regime, which will become effective on 1 March 2020. In conjunction with the new Measures, the MSA has also published a Directory of Hazardous Bulk Liquid Cargo Apt to Cause Pollution (the “Directory”) for which oil booms need to be deployed during cargo operations or an Agreement with a SPRO needs to be concluded. The International Group (IG) has checked this effective date with the China MSA and it has been confirmed that this date will remain as 1 March 2020 and will not be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As can be seen from the attached updated SPRO table, there is no material change to the SPRO requirements as a result, however Members will note that from 1 March 2020, no SPRO Agreements will be needed for any of the following:

  1. Any ship under 10,000 GT either in ballast or carrying a liquid cargo in bulk not listed in the Directory; or
  2. Any ship driven by clean fuels and carrying a liquid cargo not in bulk.

Oil booming is only required, inter alia, for ships loading, discharging, transferring over 300 MT of cargoes listed in the Directory.

Pursuant to the new Measures, the MSA no longer publishes its own recommended SPRO Agreement wording and the parties are free to negotiate all terms. A new Committee has been established under the auspices of the China Diving and Salvage Association (CDSA) which is due to take responsibility for training and assessing the capabilities of SPROs, establishing a central database for information as to SPRO capabilities and negotiating contract terms. However, this Committee is in its infancy such that for the time-being the position remains unchanged from that advised in the previous Circular (Circular No 2015/013 of June 2015) and Owners are advised to check with local agents, MSAs and the Club for the purposes of identifying SPROs in individual Chinese ports.

Members should also note the following:

  • Where the port which the ship is entering, leaving or operating from does not have a SPRO with the required level of response capability, the Owner is not required to enter into an Agreement with a SPRO;
  • Owners are required to report to the MSA any SPRO that does not fulfil its emergency standby obligations, and
  • Owners are required to continue to report to the local MSA any cases of ship sourced pollution in the waters of the PRC.

The IG has reviewed the existing IG recommended SPRO Agreement wording in light of these developments and, at present, it is recommended that Owners continue to sign SPRO Agreements on the attached IG recommended wording.  Members will be informed if there are any changes to the Agreement wording, including in light of any future negotiations with the CDSA Committee. It is recommended that Owners entering into new SPRO arrangements continue to ensure that the SPRO also provides an accompanying response tariff (which can be checked with the Club).

The IG will continue to monitor developments, particularly the work of the CDSA and report to Members. In the interim, any Member requested to agree to a variation of the attached recommended contract is advised to check with the Club to ensure that such variations do not cause the contract to fall outside the scope of the IG Guidelines.

If Members are in any doubt about the contract and SPRO tariff, then it is recommended that they contact the Club before contracting with any SPRO.

All Clubs in the International Group of P&I Clubs have issued similar Circulars.

Photo credit: sergio souza on Unsplash
Published: 24 February, 2020

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Poland: ORLEN to strengthen position in bunker fuels sector with new oil terminal

With the terminal’s commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports with conventional marine fuels and biofuels.





ORLEN oil terminals

Polish multinational oil refiner ORLEN Group on Wednesday (12 June) said it is solidifying its presence in the marine fuels market with the construction of a new oil terminal that is scheduled for completion by the second half of 2025.

Construction of the Martwa Wisła terminal, located on the Martwa Wisła river, has already exceeded 70%.

The Martwa Wisła terminal will enhance the logistics capabilities of the Gdańsk refinery, allowing for the transshipment of approximately 2 million tonnes of fuel products annually.

The first four loading arms have already arrived at the construction site and the remaining four loading arms are slated for delivery by the end of June. The devices, with a throughput capacity of up to 500m³/h, will be used at transshipment points to load tankers.

With the terminal's commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) with conventional fuels and biofuels.

For over 20 years, the Group has been supplying quality marine fuels to all Polish seaports. Its refinery product portfolio encompasses a wide range of fuels that guarantee quality and strict compliance with regulations, including MGO (DMA 0.1%S), ULSFO (RMD80 0.1% S) and LNG, which will in the near future be complemented with ‘green’ alternatives.

All marine fuels offered by ORLEN comply with the international ISO 8217:2017 standard and meet the requirements of the MARPOL Convention.


Photo credit: ORLEN Group
Published: 14 June 2024

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Australia: Crew of bunker tanker “Champion 63” to strike following employer’s refusal to negotiate

‘BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low,’ states MUA spokesman.





Champion 63

The crew of Champion 63, a 2022-built Australia-registered bunker tanker with home port of Brisbane, is set to go on strike after bargaining for a new enterprise agreement has stalled, stated the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) on Wednesday (12 June).

Members of the Australian Maritime Officers Union, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, and MUA voted up protected industrial action on 11 June 2024.

The crews have been trying to formalise their employment conditions with ASP Ship Management since the bunkering operations commenced in February 2023. It took ASP approximately six months to issue the Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) and start bargaining.

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“The crew of the new bunker barge on the Brisbane River and the maritime unions bent over backwards to make this vessel work,” said MUA Assistant Branch Secretary Paul Gallagher.

“Including low wages, excessive hours and a roster that does not allow crew to take leave. 18 months down the track when it comes time for BP to reward their crew and pay industry standards what do they do? They deny them fair wages, a workable roster and threaten their back pay!”

The AMOU filed a bargaining dispute after ASP refused to take their claim for a roster that does not demand that crews work every weekend seriously.

“Having to work every weekend because ASP does not have suitable relief arrangements is unacceptable,” said AMOU Industrial Officer Tracey Ellis.

“Crews have a right to be rostered time off to spend with their family. Waiting for ASP to fix the issue did not work, filing a Bargaining Dispute in the Fair Work Commission did not work, so the crews will take protected industrial action until their concerns are taken seriously.”

The crews onboard the Champion 63 voted up an unlimited number of stoppages of work of between one hour and 48 hours.

Gallagher added that, “the Maritime unions will not tolerate the big multinational fuel barons of this world undermining the Australian maritime wages and conditions of seven local mariners who are trying their best to support our own local shipping and Cruise Ship industry. If your cruise holiday gets delayed it is because, after recording over $40 billion profit in last two years, BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low.”


Photo credit: Maritime Union of Australia
Published: 13 June 2024


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Infineum releases Sustainability Report 2023 outlining its sustainability progress

Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and looks forward to the next 25 years of progress towards its net zero ambition by 2050, says CEO.





Press release Infineum remains focused on our purpose to become a sustainable world class specialty chemicals company

Infineum, a specialty chemicals company headquartered in the UK, on Thursday (13 June) released its fourth annual Sustainability Report, reinforcing its purpose to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry.

Aligned with the company’s strategic plan to achieve its vision and purpose, Infineum announces:

Publication of its Sustainability Report 2023 (, which outlines the efforts and progress that the company has achieved through the year, including:

  • Championing of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) throughout the organisation
  • Achievement of 28% of colleagues volunteering, surpassing its 2025 target of 25%
  • Increased share of relevant supplier spends covered by sustainability assessments to 62%

Launch of revamped corporate website ( to better represent Infineum as a specialty chemicals company, showcasing Infineum’s existing capabilities, as well as diversification in the new markets

The joint venture, formed in 1999 between Shell and Exxon Mobil, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and recently shared its restructure strategy to two business units, Sustainable Transportation and Energy Applications.

“As Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and we look forward to the next 25 years of progress towards our net zero ambition by 2050, I am pleased to share our fourth annual sustainability report,” says Infineum CEO Aldo Govi.

“This is a journey and we have made excellent progress, but improvement will not always be linear, especially when set against the backdrop of a challenging external environment, but our purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry, continues to drive us forward.

“We remain focused on our vision to become a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company. Sustainability was at the core of reshaping Infineum to better enable us to contribute to sustainable mobility and the transition to a low-carbon economy.”


Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 13 June 2024

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