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Chemical tanker procedure : Liaison between ship and shore

Exchange of cargo information
: Operations concerning cargo handling, tank cleaning and pre-wash, ballasting and bunkering require an exchange of information between the ship and terminal before the ship arrives or after arrival. Each ship or company should have procedures for information to be exchanged between ship and terminal before a cargo operation commences.

The following is a possible checklist of items that could be considered for inclusion in such an information exchange:

1. The maximum draught of the ship and maximum light freeboard.

2. Cargo specifications, to include the proper bulk shipping names, the nominated quantities to be transferred, expected temperature during transfer, flashpoint (where applicable), specific gravity, the MARPOL pollution category if applicable, and any viscosity and solidifying information.

3. Availability of emergency and health data for each cargo to be handled.

4. Where the ship has part cargoes which will remain on board, the cargo name, volume and tank distribution of each cargo.

5. Any unusual characteristics of the cargo requiring special attention.

6. Proposed disposition of nominated cargo and preferred order of loading or discharge.

7. Details of cargo tank preparation for-loading, including previous cargo carried, method of tank cleaning (if any), state of the cargo tanks and lines, and water dips in cargo tanks (where applicable).

8. Number and sizes of hoses or arms to be used, manifold connections required for each cargo to be handled and any limitations on the movement of hoses or arms.

9. Maximum pumping rates and maximum pressure -available at the ship/shore cargo connection, and any restrictions due to inherent properties of the cargo.

10. Communication system for cargo control, including the signal for emergency stop.

11. Restrictions relating to electrostatic properties of a product, and precautions to prevent the generation of hazardous static electricity charges.

12. The use of automatic emergency shutdown valves, and their closing period.

13. Tank venting requirements and details of any required vapour return lines.

14. Tank environmental control requirements, e.g. drying and inert gas, and quality of inert gas (if applicable).





15. Whether foot samples or normal samples are to be taken, and any suspension of cargo operation while samples are being analysed.

16. Terminal or port regulations on pre-washing of cargo tanks alongside the berth, and details of reception facilities available to receive slops (if applicable).

17. Mandatory pre-wash requirements, cargo names and quantity of washings for discharge to reception facilities, and quantity, quality and disposition of slops (if applicable).

18. Whether alongside tank cleaning is required in addition to pre-wash.

19. Ballasting or deballasting requirements of the ship: if deballasting, the disposition, composition and quantities of ballast on board together with time required for discharge; if ballasting, the approximate time of commencement and the duration of ballasting into ballast or cargo tanks that will impinge upon cargo operations.

20. Proposed bunker handling to be done during port visit, including time, location of bunker manifold, whether delivery is to be from barge or quay, and whether cargo transfer will be interrupted.

21. Any other limitations at the terminal.

22. Measures to prevent accidental exposure of personnel to cargo vapours or contact with cargo liquids.

23. Action to be taken in the event of spills or leaks.


Loading plan

On the basis of the information exchanged, an operational plan for the order of cargo handling should be made by the responsible officer covering the items felt to be significant, including a cargo plan showing cargo distribution. The operational plan should include indications of the expected duration of the operation, and the sequence in which the ship's tanks are to be loaded or discharged.


Ship/Shore Safety Checklist

The Ship/Shore Safety Checklist concerns the safety of the ship, the terminal and all personnel, and should be completed jointly by the responsible officer and the terminal representative. Each item should be verified before it is ticked. This will entail a physical check by the two persons concerned which should be conducted jointly where appropriate. The completed checklist is of no value if it is merely regarded as a paper exercise.
It is emphasised that some of the items on the checklist will require several physical checks or even continuous supervision during the operation.


Communications during cargo operations

To ensure the safe control of cargo operations at all times, it should be the responsibility of both parties to establish, agree in writing and maintain a reliable communications system.
Before loading or unloading commences the communications system should be adequately tested. A secondary stand-by system should also be established and agreed and tested. Allowance should be made for the time required for action in response to signals. The use of one radio channel by more than one ship/shore combination should be avoided.



Related Info:

Ship shore safety checklist while alongside a terminal

Isolation of cargo tanks and piping systems

Ship shore cargo connection safe method

Venting of cargo tanks safety procedure

Ship to ship transfer operation

Controlling the atmosphere in cargo tanks with nitrogen supplied from shore







Related info:

Effects of Tugs and other craft alongside chemical tankers

Primary means of cargo connection between ship and shore

Means of access (gangways or accommodation ladders) safety precautions

Ship/Shore Safety Checklist

How to prepare a cargo loading / discharge plan ?

Technical readiness prior loading operations

Voyage planning and related considerations

Cargo sampling safety precautions

Cargo calculation

Signing a bill of lading and related guideline

Preparation for cargo operation

Preparing a cargo tank atmosphere

Cargo unloading operation safety precautions

Liaison between ship and shore

How to prevent cargo pipeline leakage

Ship shore safety checklist while alongside a terminal


Reference publications

  1. IBC Code / BCH code
  2. International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT)
  3. ICS Chemical Tanker Safety Guide
  4. Ship’s “Procedure and Arrangements Manual” (Approved by Class)
  5. Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk
  6. Ship’s “VEC System Operational Manual” (Approved by Class)
  7. Ship to Ship Transfer Guide (Petroleum)
  8. Tank Cleaning Manual




Other Info:

Voyage planning and related considerations

Preparation for cargo operation

Preparing a cargo tank atmosphere

Cargo unloading operation safety precautions

Liaison between ship and shore

Cargo line leakage countermeasures

Checklist for handling dangerous liquid chemicals in bulk

Recommended temperature monitoring equipments onboard

Practical example of solving tank cleaning problems

Pre-cleaning /washing of cargo tanks

Risk & hazards of chemical contamination onboard

Cargo compatibility and reactivity of various chemical cargo

Poisoning and required first aid treatment onboard

Chemical tanker safe mooring practice

Determining presence of contaminants in chemical cargo

How to avoid solidification in cargo tanks ?

Cargo segregation requirement for chemical tankers

How to arrange disposal of tank cleaning waste ?

Restrictions on discharge cargo residue into sea

Retention of slops on chemical tankers

Vapour emission control requirement for chemical tankers

Handling self reactive chemicals

Handling of toxic chemical cargoes

Pre-loading meeting safety consideration

How to determine chemical cargo temperatures at different level ?

How to take cargo samples ?

How to avoid solidification in cargo tanks ?

Cargo line clearance requirement for chemical tankers

How to arrange disposal of tank cleaning waste ?

Care of cargo pums - risk of pump overload or underload


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