Pre-Contract regulation with OSRO for vessels entering Chinese ports

Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Marine Pollution from Ships

All ships carrying hazardous and polluting cargo in bulk, and all other ships of 10,000 tons or more, to pre-contract with Oil Spill Response Organizations (“OSROs”) approved by the China Maritime Safety Agency (“MSA”) before entering a Chinese Port.
Effective from 1st March 2010.

The measure it is unlikely to be in force since our latest update 28/2/2010 Chinese MSA has not issued a list of approved contractors that can act as spill response organizations in accordance with regulations. Furthermore contractual terms under witch such organizations will operate has not been set by Chinese MSA.

Roomers say, Chinese MSA will give a grace period to the operators for the pre-contractors issue after the approved OSRO list has been disclosed.

The Regulations require shipowners, operators or managers to maintain emergency response plans for the prevention and control of marine pollution. It is understood that a Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) will be sufficient to meet this requirement.

Finally the Regulations would bring into PRC law a compulsory insurance regime for all ships (except those that are both less than 1,000 gt and not carrying oil cargoes) to cover claims arising from pollution damage. It is expected that valid certificates of insurance issued pursuant to the 2001 Bunkers Convention and the 1992 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (1992 CLC) will be accepted as evidence of insurance for this purpose.

We strongly recommend to contact your P&I club to discuss the matter and be prepared in case some local MSAs are having deferent requirements.