Updated Survey Requirements For Bulk Carriers And Oil Tankers


Lloyd’s Register is updating the survey requirements for Special, Intermediate, and Annual Surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers to align with the latest IMO ESP Code and IACS Unified Requirements. These changes will apply to surveys commencing on or after 1 July 2024. Surveys started before this date will follow the previous requirements.

Stricter Examination Criteria for Ballast Tank Coatings

For bulk carriers, the new rules mandate that ballast tank coatings rated “less than GOOD” will require examination during Annual Surveys. This aligns the examination criteria with the stricter standards already applicable to oil tankers. Bulk carriers with coatings graded “FAIR” or “POOR” must plan for additional examinations if the coating condition is not restored to “GOOD.”

New Requirements for Double-Side Skin Void Spaces

Bulk carriers of 150m and longer with double-sided skin void spaces will face new examination requirements. For ships aged 20 years and older, the coating condition of these spaces must be examined and reported. If the coating is graded as “POOR,” the void spaces will need to be re-examined annually. This applies particularly to ships built before 1 July 2008 with uncoated or poorly coated double-sided skin void spaces.

Changes to Definitions and Cargo Tank Testing for Oil Tankers

The definitions of “oil tanker” and “double hull oil tanker” are updated to include only ships with integral oil cargo tanks, excluding those with independent tanks. Additionally, cargo tank testing by the crew must be completed prior to overall and close-up surveys within the Special Survey window, no more than three months before the survey completion date. This change aims to clarify and streamline the testing process for oil tankers.

Recommended Actions for Shipowners and Operators

Shipowners and operators should proactively assess the coating conditions of water ballast tanks and double-sided skin void spaces to plan necessary surveys and maintenance. For oil tankers, it is essential to understand the new timing requirements for cargo tank testing to ensure compliance with the updated regulations.

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Source: LR