A recent information paper of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) deals with methods, systems and procedures available for controlling Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions from oil tanker loading and during vessel transit.

It includes information on regulations and VOC management planning including considerations on equipment, safety, effectiveness, training as well as design and installation helping operators to better understand the technologies for controlling VOC emissions.

*Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is a voluntary association of oil companies having an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil and oil products. OCIMF's mission is to be the  authority on the safe and environmentally responsible operation of oil tankers and terminals, promoting continuous improvement in standards of design and operation.

Euroshore comments

VOC emissions contribute to inferior air quality in ports. For over 10 years, IMO has been regulating the coupling sizes in order to enable adsorption  or recovery of VOC vapours.
The aim of the IMO VOC Management Plan is to identify the arrangements and equipment required to enable compliance with Regulation 15.6 of the Revised Annex VI and to identify for the ship’s officers the operational procedures for VOC emission control.

Important to know is that a regulatory framework for inland navigation and other transport modes is in place for products, such as  gasoline and  benzene.

Euroshore thinks it is unacceptable that seagoing vessels are not required to comply to  stricter rules comparable to those applicable for (in) land  transport.
Another ‘regulation weakness’ is that the requirement to collect vapours stems from national and local regulations in only a small number of  ports.

Euroshore believes, that with the existing air quality problems the introduction of a more stringent legislation can make a contribution to the improvement of the air quality in port cities.
Moreover, active and passive technologies for recovery of different vapour  types are easily available; even mobile systems can be used on different berths and could make good practices accessible and applicable for all.