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USCG - Vessel Response Plans (VRPs) for tank vessels carrying oil *Update*

Monday, 21st March 2011


Vessels calling at or Passing Guam

Vessels calling to Guam or vessels passing through the US Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding Guam that are bound to, or departing from, a US Port must ensure the Guam COTP (Captain of the Port) Zone is listed in the VRP approval letter. Where this is absent from the VRP Approval Letter then the vessel cannot legally transit the COTP Zone or call at ports in Guam.

Those vessels transiting the US EEZ off Guam which have not departed from, or are not bound to, a US port are unaffected.

Please click here for the full circular from O'Briens Response Management.

20/02/2011 Members are reminded of the deadline of 22 February 2011 for the USCG's requirement for ship owner/operators to update the geographic specific appendices (GSAs) of their Vessel Response Plans (VRPs) to include information about contracted salvage and marine firefighting (SMFF) services for each Captain Of The Port (COTP) zone.

Please click here for more information on the salvage marine firefighting requirements in VRP's.

19 January 2009: The US Coast Guard has issued amendments to the salvage and marine fire fighting requirements for response plans for tank vessels carrying oil. The final Rule is effective 30 January 2009, with salvage and marine fire fighting amendments effective 12 February 2009.

The Rule specifies the timeframes within which a resource provider, by contract, must provide its services, the VRP must also disclose;

  •  emergency towing vessels
  •  type and amount of transfer equipment
  •  type and amount of fire extinguishing equipment
  •  that the vessel is capable of subsurface product removal if the vessel operates in waters of 40 feet or more.

Vessel owners or operators are required to perform announced and unannounced drills to ensure that the VRP is functional and must show that a pre-fire plan has been prepared.

The Rule removes the response time and 24 hour requirement for heavy lift services. However, plan holders are still required to contract for heavy lift services, provide a description of the heavy lift response, and an estimated response time.

The Rule requires existing approved response plans to be updated and submitted to the USCG by 1 June 2010.

Click here for the Blank Rome Circular on tank vessel VRPs.

Click here for Fed. Reg. 80618 (Dec. 31, 2008)