What Is SIRE Inspection On Tankers?

Credit: William William/Unsplash

One of the most significant safety initiatives introduced by OCIMF is the Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE). This programme was originally launched in 1993 to specifically address concerns about sub-standard shipping. 

The SIRE Programme is a unique tanker risk assessment tool of value to charterers, ship operators, terminal operators and government bodies concerned with ship safety.

What Is SIRE?

SIRE (Ship Inspection Report Programme) or generally called as vetting inspection is carried out by oil majors on tanker vessels to ascertain whether vessels are well managed and maintained, thereby addressing concerns about sub-standard shipping. 

Since its introduction, more than 180,000 inspection reports have been submitted to SIRE. Currently there are over 22,500 reports on over 8000 vessels for inspections that have been conducted in the last 12 months. On average Programme Recipients access the SIRE database at a rate of more than 8000 reports per month.

Vetting means to make a careful, thorough and critical examination of something, especially in order to ensure that they are suitable for a job. Vetting is a general term and SIRE is a specific programme.

Uniform Inspection Protocol

The SIRE programme requires a uniform inspection protocol that is predicated by the following:

  • Vessel Inspection Questionnaire (VIQ)
  • Barges Inspection Questionnaire (BIQ)
  • Uniform SIRE Inspection Report
  • Vessels Particulars Questionnaire (VPQ)
  • Barge Particulars Questionnaire (BPQ)

Inspection reports are maintained on the index for a period of 12 months from the date of receipt and are maintained on the database for 2 years. SIRE access is available, at a nominal cost, to OCIMF members, bulk oil terminal operators, port authorities, canal authorities, oil, power, industrial or oil trader companies which charter tankers/barges as a normal part of their business. 

It is also available, free of charge, to Governmental bodies which supervise safety and/or pollution prevention in respect of oil tankers/barges (e.g. port state control authorities, MOUs, etc).

SIRE / Vetting Inspection Plan

Operator of the ship schedules a vetting inspection. Vessels receive details of inspection such as date of inspection, port of inspection, etc.

A. Inspection Prior to Vessel Boarding 

Vetting inspector check the condition of external hull, superstructure, mooring lines laying, draft marks, overboard discharges, scupper integrity, ship’s gangway.

B. Pre-inspection Meeting 

Formal presentations of Auditor Inspector with Master.

Explain purpose of the present inspection and discuss the order of inspection with Master, Chief Officer & Chief Engineer.

Proposal for the following order: Documentation, Bridge inspection, outside accommodation inspection, deck Inspection, sighting from top with one or two ballast tanks, rounds in forecastle deck, Cargo Control Room (CCR), Ship’s Hospital, Galley and Engine Room, followed by final meeting.

C. Documentation Checks 

  • Trading certificates (Certificate of Registry, Safety Equipment, Safety Construction, Safety Radio, IOPP, etc)
  • Certificates of Test/Service: Life/Rescue boat and davit, Liferaft annuals, EEBD test, Portable and Fixed Fire extinguisher systems (Dry Powder & CO2 stations), Immersion suits, EPIRB, VDR, LRIT Test, 15-ppm sensor calibration records, Portable gas detector equipments.
  • PSC inspection reports
  • Class records: Class attendance reports, ESP file
  • LSA & FFA weekly & monthly checks
  • Master’s Review of SMS and Safety meeting feedback
  • Approved manuals- IGS, SMPEP, SEEMP, STS plan, Ballast & garbage management plans, Intact & Damage Stability booklet, P&A manual, LSA and FFA training manual, operations manual
  • Type approval certificates: ECDIS, PMS approval certificates
  • Crew certification, Work and rest hours
  • Verify operator’s SMS against VIQ elements: Hot work, Alcohol policy, Smoking Policy, smoking areas, Enclosed space, PPE matrix, Lube oil analysis frequency, UKC policy, Tank inspection interval, NC close out policy, Emergency procedures
  • Compliance checks: Alcohol policy compliance, Smoking policy, Permit to work system – Hot work, encloses space permits, working over side and aloft, Tank inspection records, Risk Assessments, PPE matrix, Non-conformity control, Safety meeting and drill records, Alcohol check records
  • Cargo & Ballast tanks inspection records including void spaces
  • Lifting gear register & Mooring ropes, Wires & sling certificates
  • Non conformity & Incident reports
  • ORB-I, ORB-II, Cargo record book, Garbage record books
  • Fuel oil and Lube oil testing records
  • EAIPP NOx technical files
  • Ballast water management files & records
  • PMS records, Pressure test record of cargo & Fuel Pipes
  • Bridge & Radio Room Inspection (1200-1300 HRS)
  • Passage plan, chart and publication checks, navigation related records & checklists.
  • Navtex, T&P corrections.
  • Paper charts/ ECDIS for at least the whole of the last voyage.
  • Check the condition of the Radio station equipment, VHF, MF & HF.
  • Condition of SAT-C.
  • Request for Master Standing order and night orders.
  • Navigation procedures.
  • Review Bridge Posters.
  • Review Log books: Deck log, Compass error log, Radar ops log, GMDSS log),
  • PMS related to Navigation equipment & related spares, day signals etc.
  • Emergency equipment on the bridge (LTA, EPIRB, para-rockets, MOBs, GMDSS radio & batteries)
  • Bridge wing and monkey island- antenna and lighting checks.
  • Switch ON lighting.
  • Cargo Tanks related panel. (Indication of Pressure, Temperature, Alarms)
  • IG panel (02 & pressure.)
  • Fire fighting panel, Echo sounder, Course recorded marked-24hrs mode. AIS, VDR- save function, BNWAS test, GPS anchor alarm.
  • Navtex station, SAT C Nav warnings.
  • Night rounds system, Look out, Fire drill in log book.

D. Accommodation External Decks Inspection

  • Bridge Wings & Monkey Island.
  • MOB Buoy condition.
  • Safety Signs for antenna’s
  • Antenna ID & Earth connection
  • Magnetic compass.
  • Check condition of Battery lockers.
  • All Deck emergency lighting.
  • Check funnel flaps test closing & Save all.
  • Emergency Generator test.
  • Starting of Lifeboat Motor after permission from terminal.
  • Life raft, ladders, IMO symbols.
  • Rescue boat
  • Muster stations.
  • LSA/FFA Lockers & Fire man’s outfits.
  • Test Emergency generator after permission from terminal
  • SCBA compressor room
  • Air condition Room intake
  • Engine room Fixed draft vent – test closing.
  • CO2 Room.

E. Poop Deck Inspection

  • Check operation and condition of mooring equipment: Winches,brake condition, ropes
  • Check condition of save all and vent heads.

F. Main Deck Inspection 

  • Rounds start with mooring, deck aft, then proceeding toward cargo main deck area.
  • Check condition of cargo pumps, cargo compressors, cargo condensers, cargo heater, etc.
  • Check condition of level gauges, pressure & temperature gauges, piping, cargo tank PV Valves, lighting, ventilation, etc.
  • Check condition of fixed (Seawater Spray & Dry Powder Stations) and portable fire fighting appliances (FFA)
  • Check condition of fire isolation valves
  • Inert gas system (IGG) or Nitrogen system
  • Manifold arrangement
  • SMPEP gear
  • Eyewash showers test
  • Cargo related equipment: Manifold arrangement, Hose handling crane.
  • Inspect one or two ballast tank from top, if permission from terminal available.
  • Fire line to be pressurized during inspection.
  • Check condition of the Forecastle space, Bow thruster space

G. Cargo Control Room (CCR) Inspection

  • Check condition of the CCR equipment, pressure/temperature indicators, Pump indications, High Level Alarms, Cargo Tanks High Level Override switches, Cargo Tank Level Indications
  • Check cargo plan, checklist, PMS, manuals, etc.
  • Pre-cargo check list.
  • Other cargo and maintenance related documents, Port log
  • Chief Officer Standing orders.
  • Pre-arrival test & Ship Shore Safety Checklist
  • Check the condition of Portable Gas Monitoring Equipment
  • Stability Computer.
  • Enclosed space records 
  • Piping plans
  • MSDS
  • Internal Accommodation Inspection (1600-1630 HRS)
  • Check condition of Galley, portable and fixed fire extinguishing systems
  • Smoke rooms, Mess rooms, SOLAS training manual, smoking notices etc.
  • Refrigerated rooms doors, alarms
  • Check condition of Laundry
  • Check condition of Hospital and medicines.
  • Air condition room.

H. Engine Room Inspection 

  • Chief engineer’s standing and night orders
  • Planned Maintenance system (PMS). Critical spare parts list, Overview of maintenance jobs
  • Permit to work system, Electrical work permits, Risk assessments
  • First aid box, EEBDs, Immersion suits, Length of Fire Hoses
  • Equipment checks, Oily Water Separator (OWS), Boilers, Auxiliary Engines, Main Engine, Bilges, Sewage treatment Plant (STP), Incinerator, Hydrophore, Coolers, Sludge and Bilge pumping system, Fuel tanks, Piping, Valves, Supply and Circulating pumps, Ship side structure
  • Check of OWS 15 ppm test alarm
  • Bilge level alarm test
  • Engineer’s call alarm test
  • Check the condition of Inert Gas System, Work shop, Purifier room etc.
  • Check of steering gear in coordination with bridge
  • Main Engine Oil Mist Detector and Leak off alarms
  • Auxiliary engines (all running), random leak off alarm, visual inspection

I. Closing Meeting 

  • Discuss observations with Master, Chief Engineer and Chief Officer
  • Conclude the inspection.


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Source: ocimf


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