Honduras oil spill response requirements enter into force this week

The lowdown on the documentation needed for vessels dropping anchor in Honduran waters.

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Updated on 24 May 2018 15:08 GMT

New oil spill response requirements applying to both tank and non-tank vessels are due to enter into force in Honduras on May 26, the Maritime Authority of Honduras has advised.

The effective date for the coming into force of the new requirements was originally stated to be January 1, 2018; however, the date has been postponed on a number of occasions.

According to Act DGMM-022-2015, all vessels must nominate an oil spill response organisation (OSRO) that has been approved by the Authority to secure the availability of private personnel and equipment necessary to remove - to the maximum extent practicable - a worst-case discharge, and to mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of such a discharge.

The Maritime Authority of Honduras has confirmed that an International Group (IG) P&I club's Certificate of Entry is sufficient evidence of insurance to cover the liability of the registered owner for pollution damage for all vessels calling at Honduran ports or requesting anchorage within Honduran waters.

This certificate is required to be submitted to Port State Control officials at least 24 hours prior to the vessel's arrival together with, for CLC tankers, the vessel's State Certificate issued in accordance with the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC).

Shipowners will also need to arrange via their local ship's agent in Honduras a 'standby contract' - a Certificate of Coverage for marine pollution response issued by Ocean Pollution Control S.A. Honduras.

The wording of the standby contract conforms to IG's guidelines. The contract includes the footer: "Ocean Pollution Control, S.A. Honduras Effective 01.12.2017" and can be accessed by clicking here.

Ocean Pollution Control S.A. Honduras is an OSRO that has agreed to contract on an unamended RESPONSECON form in the event of a spill.

RESPONSECON is the standard industry contract developed by the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and the International Spill Control Organisation (ISCO) for the hire of specialised spill response services and equipment in the event of an incident in international waters outside the United States.