- Keywords: Statutory, Maritime
Relevant for ship owners and managers of chemical tankers and OSVs.
When new chemical products or product mixtures are offered for bulk shipment, they are normally subject to a so-called tripartite agreement. The purpose of a tripartite agreement is to enable a new product to be shipped relatively quickly in an interim period before the IMO performs the final assessment.
The agreement is valid only for the signatory countries and for a maximum of three years. This implies that the cargo can only be shipped on vessels flying the flag of a signatory country and between ports of the countries which are part of the agreement.
The IMO will perform a final assessment of the products based on their physical and toxicological properties as submitted by the producing country. The product will then be valid for all countries without any expiry date, and included in the standard Certificate of Fitness (CoF) product list. The carriage requirements may change from the tripartite agreement.
While finally-assessed products which a ship is certified to carry are included in the standard CoF product lists, a single product addendum is added to the CoF covering that specific tripartite product only. The new tripartite list will include all current tripartite products at the time of issuance for which the ship may be certified and the flag of the ship is a signatory state.
In particular, for vessels that frequently request tripartite addenda, typically parcel chemical tankers, the new product list will be a better alternative than applying for an addendum each time a tripartite product is to be carried.
On the new list, the signatory states and the tripartite expiry dates will be shown for each product, in addition to the standard information such as in which tanks the product may be carried, footnotes and the MARPOL pollution category.
The new tripartite lists, as the existing addenda, will only be issued on request. The fee for the tripartite list will not exceed the price of two or more addenda. The benefit will be a higher probability that the next tripartite product to be shipped is already covered by the CoF, reducing administrative burden and certification cost.
At the next opportunity, the operator should strongly consider applying for a tripartite list instead of an addendum, thus getting the vessel certified for all products currently available.
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