Applicability: shipowners, ship operators, ship managers and ship masters. 

Periodical survey requirements for Special, Intermediate and Annual Surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers are being updated by Lloyd’s Register. This is to align with the latest revision of the IMO ESP Code (as amended by IMO Res. MSC.525(106)) and IACS Unified Requirements (UR Z10.1, UR Z10.2, UR Z10.4 and UR Z10.5). The new survey requirements will become applicable at the Special or Intermediate Surveys, commenced on or after 1 July 2024 (based on the first day of attendance).

Surveys commenced before 1 July 2024 will continue to be carried out in accordance with survey requirements applicable before this date, regardless of the survey completion date.

Summary of changes

The updated survey requirements include the following

  • For all bulk carriers, the examination criteria for ballast tank coating conditions will now be similar to the stricter criteria already applicable for oil tankers. This means coating conditions rated “less than GOOD” (i.e. “FAIR” or “POOR”) will require examination during Annual Surveys.
  • For bulk carriers of 150m in length and upwards, fitted with double-side skin void spaces, a new requirement will apply for the examination (and reporting) of the coating condition of these spaces on ships aged 20 years and older (i.e. normally at Special Survey IV and onwards). If the coating is graded as “POOR”, the double-side skin void spaces will be required to be re-examined at each subsequent annual survey.
  • The definitions of “oil tanker” and “double hull oil tanker” will be changed to include only ships that carry oil cargoes in integral tanks and exclude ships that carry oil cargoes in independent tanks (e.g. asphalt carriers).
  • Changes to cargo tank testing requirements for oil tankers when the testing is done by the crew. To clarify, the test is to be caried out prior to overall and close-up surveys (within the Special Survey window and not more than three months prior to the completion date of overall or close-up surveys).

To see the Rule changes, please consult Notice No.4 of the Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Ships, July 2023 (Part 1, Chapter 3, Sections 1, 2, 3, 5 & 7) in Regs4ships.

Impact of new requirements

For bulk carriers, they will specifically impact the following cases: 

  • Water ballast tanks with “FAIR” coating condition annual examination will be required after the first Special or Intermediate surveys (after 1 July 2024), whenever the coating condition is not restored to “GOOD”.
  • Ships of 150m in length and upwards, built before 1 July 2008 (based on new building contract date) and fitted with uncoated double-side skin void spaces.
  • Ships of 150m in length and upwards, fitted with coated double-side skin void spaces, but where the coating condition “POOR”.

What we advise shipowners and ship operators to do now

It is strongly advised that the coating condition of water ballast tanks and double-side skin void spaces is considered early to plan surveys and maintenance works.

For oil tankers, we recommend being aware of the changes to the applicable range window for the completion of cargo tank testing when carried out by the crew.

For further information

For further information or advice, please get in touch with your local Lloyd's Register office.

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