New rules for ships calling at Honduran ports

Overview

The Honduran Maritime Authority has announced that all vessels visiting Honduran waters or requesting anchoring within the jurisdictional waters of Honduras, need to arrange stand-by marine pollution response with a local oil and HNS spills response organisation (OSRO).

Honduras is a state party to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC). The General Directorate of the Merchant Marine has announced the following:

Quoted from Merchant Marine Circular MEP/GD 001-2017


FIRST: According to the Article 18 of the Regulations referred before, all vessels that call Honduran ports or request anchoring within the jurisdictional waters of Honduras are required to submit to Port State Control officials, at least 24 hours before its arrival copy of their:

  • Certificate of Insurance / P&I to cover the liability of the registered owner for pollution damage. When applicable, a certificate attesting that insurance or other financial security is in force in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC 69-92)
  • Certificate of Coverage for marine pollution response, issued by an oil and HNS spills response organisations (OSRO) authorised by this Administration.

The regulation entered into force on 31 October 2017 but was initially postponed. It will commence on 1 January 2018 in Puerto Cortes only, with other ports yet to be determined. BIMCO recommends that owners nevertheless check with their local agent well in time before they visit Honduras.

BIMCO has received more information about how this will be dealt with in practice, which is that the vessel owner or ship operator must sign a contract with an authorised OSRO, setting out the terms and conditions for prevention and response to pollution. This contract is based on terms drafted by the only authorised OSRO.

RESPONSECON will be used for equipment and personnel services should a spill occur.

We understand that a fee of USD 0.03 has been considered as a cost for stand-by for ships calling Puerto Cortes. A list of equipment and material rates in the event of an oil spill has also been provided.

We recommend that all owners having ships visiting Honduras contact their local agent to obtain detailed information prior to the call.

Relevant information can also be found on the P&I Clubs’ websites, eg: Member circular no.6/2017

Update 22 January 2018

BIMCO has been informed that a revised scheme for the contracts to be signed with an authorised OSRO is planned and new information about this is expected during second half February. The implementation date is now postponed until 31 March 2018.

 

Merete Lund Greisen
in Copenhagen, DK

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