Control of Discharge of Oil Content and Oil Record Book

What are the rules regarding control of discharge of oil according to MARPOL other than Special Area?

Subject to regulations regarding discharge of oil mixtures in special areas or in exceptional circumstances listed below, any discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixtures from ships shall be prohibited except when all the following conditions are satisfied:

For an oil tanker, cargo tank washing residue :

  • The tanker is not within a special area;
  • The tanker is more than 50 nautical miles from the nearest land;
  • The tanker is proceeding en route;
  • The instantaneous rate of discharge of oil content does not exceed 30 litres per nautical mile;
  • The total quantity of oil discharged into the sea does not exceed for existing tankers 1/15,000 of the total quantity of the particular cargo of which the residue formed a part, and for new tankers 1/30,000 of the total quantity of the particular cargo of which the residue formed a part; and
  • The tanker has in operation an oil discharge monitoring and control system and a slop tank arrangement as required under regulation 15 of Annex 1 of MARPOL 73/78. ( this sets out requirements for approved installations for the handling of tank washing and dirty ballast)

From a ship of 400 tons gross tonnage and above other than an oil tanker and from machinery space bilges excluding cargo pump-room bilges of an oil tanker unless mixed with oil cargo residue:

  • The ship is not within a special area;
  • The ship is proceeding en route;
  • The oily mixture does not originate from the cargo pump-room bilges;
  • The oily mixture is not mixed with oil cargo residues;
  • The ship is more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land;
  • The oil content of the effluent is less than 15 parts per million; and
  • The ship has in operation oily-water separating equipment of a design approved by the Administration, taking into account the specification recommended by the Organization.

What are the rules regarding control of discharge of oil content according to MARPOL in Special Area?

  1. Any discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixture from any oil tanker and any ship of 400 tons gross tonnage and above other than an oil tanker shall be prohibited while in a special area. In respect of the Antarctic area, any discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixture from any ship shall be prohibited.
  2. Except as provided for in respect of the Antarctic area under of this regulation, any discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixture from a ship of less than 400 tons gross tonnage, other than an oil tanker, shall be prohibited while in a special area, except when the oil content of the effluent without dilution does not exceed 15 parts per million.
    • The provisions of  this regulation shall not apply to the discharge of clean or segregated ballast.
    • The provisions of this regulation shall not apply to the discharge of processed bilge water from machinery spaces, provided that all of the following conditions are satisfied:
      1. the bilge water does not originate from cargo pump-room bilges;
      2. the bilge water is not mixed with oil cargo residues;
      3. the ship is proceeding en route;
      4. the oil content of the effluent without dilution does not exceed 15 parts per million;
      5. the ship has in operation 15ppm oil filtering equipment of approved design
      6. the filtering system is equipped with a stopping device which will ensure that the discharge is automatically stopped when the oil content of the effluent exceeds 15 parts per million.

What are the exceptions provided in rules regarding control of discharge of oil content according to MARPOL ?

    1. the discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixture necessary for the purpose of securing the safety of a ship or saving life at sea; or
    2. the discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixture resulting from damage to a ship or its equipment:
      • provided that all reasonable precautions have been taken after the occurrence of the damage or discovery of the discharge for the purpose of preventing or minimizing the discharge; and
      • except if the owner or the master acted either with intent to cause damage, or recklessly and with knowledge that damage would probably result; or
    3. the discharge into the sea of substances containing oil, approved by the Administration, when being used for the purpose of combating specific pollution incidents in order to minimize the damage from pollution. Any such discharge shall be subject to the approval of any Government in whose jurisdiction it is contemplated the discharge will occur.

What is “Oil Record Book”? List out all its entries.

Every oil tanker of 150 gross tonnage and above and every ship of 400 gross tonnage and above other than an oil tanker shall be provided with an Oil Record Book Part I (Machinery space operations).

The Oil Record Book Part I shall be completed on each occasion, on a tank-to-tank basis if appropriate, whenever any of the following machinery space operations takes place in the ship:

  1. ballasting or cleaning of oil fuel tanks;
  2. discharge of dirty ballast or cleaning water from oil fuel tanks;
  3. collection and disposal of oil residues (sludge and other oil residues);
  4. discharge overboard or disposal otherwise of bilge water which has accumulated in machinery spaces;
  5. bunkering of fuel or bulk lubricating oil.
  6. in the event of accidental or other exceptional discharge of oil.
  7. Any failure of the oil filtering equipment shall be recorded.

The ‘Oil Record Book Part II’ for cargo/ballast operations which is kept by the deck department on all tankers over 150 gross tonnage is to have chronological entries with date, operational code and item number in appropriate column.

The ‘0il Record Book’ for cargo/ballast operations must have upto date entries of

  1. Loading/unloading of cargo;
  2. Cleaning and washing of oil tanks;
  3. Ballasting deballasting of cargo oil tanks;
  4. Pumping out of slop oil tanks;
  5. Disposal of slop tanks/oil tank cleaning residue to shore facilities;
  6. in the event of accidental or other exceptional discharge of oil;
  7. Closing of isolating valves of slop tanks and clean ballast tanks;
  8. Any failure of the ODMCS equipment shall be recorded.

Each operation described shall be fully recorded without delay in the Oil Record Book, so that all entries in the book appropriate to that operation are completed. Each completed operation shall be signed by the officer or officers in charge of the operations concerned and each completed page shall be signed by the master of ship.

The entries in the Oil Record Book, for ships holding an International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate, shall be at least in English, French or Spanish. Where entries in an official national language of the State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly are also used, this shall prevail in case of a dispute or discrepancy.

The Oil Record Book shall be kept in such a place as to be readily available for inspection at all reasonable times and, except in the case of unmanned ships under tow, shall be kept on board the ship. It shall be preserved for a period of three years after the last entry has been made.

The competent authority of the Government of a Party to the present Convention may inspect the Oil Record Book on board any ship to which this Annex applies while the ship is in its port or offshore terminals and may make a copy of any entry in that book and may require the master of the ship to certify that the copy is a true copy of such entry. Any copy so made which has been certified by the master of the ship as a true copy of an entry in the ship’s Oil Record Book shall be made admissible in any judicial proceedings as evidence of the facts stated in the entry. The inspection of an Oil Record Book and the taking of a certified copy by the competent authority under this paragraph shall be performed as expeditiously as possible without causing the ship to be unduly delayed.

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Pratham Shukla

He had sailing experience. Now he is a member of RS Marine Academy and Nielsons Educational Forum. He is alumni of Marine Engineering & Research Institute(MERI) Mumbai and pursuing his Master's from Narottam Morarjee Institute Of Shipping. Speciality: Chemical Tankers, Shipping Management

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