PNI1503--Latest Development on SPRO Issue in China

Circular Ref No.:PNI1503
Date: 27 May 2015
Dear Sir or Madam,
Subject: Latest Development on SPRO Issue in China
  • MOT issues revised “Regulation on Emergency Prevention and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships”
Reference is made to our previous circular (Ref No.: 1502) on this issue dated 20th April 2015, wherein we advised that MOT decides to cancel quality assessment and certification of SPROs.
On 8th May 2015, Ministry of Transport of People’s Republic of China (MOT) issued a formal amendment notice on “Regulation on Emergency Prevention and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships” (Decision No. 2015-6) to implement the aforementioned decision and specify the means of monitoring the SPRO’s capability and situation after such change.
We hereby summarize the amendments of the regulation as follows for your easy reference:
1. In the amended rules, a SPRO is defined as the organization that has the capability and provides service of emergent prevention and response to marine pollution for ships.
2. The chapters concerning application and approval procedures of SPRO qualification are deleted. The SPRO no longer needs to apply to MSA for inspection and assessment of its capability so as to obtain qualification certificates from MSA, however, they remain under supervision and inspection of MSA and need to ensure they meet with the following requirements:
1) The capability of pollution emergency response and clean-up shall comply with the provision of Requirement on SPRO’s Emergency Prevention and Response Capability;
2) The Pollution Response Operation Plan shall meet with the requirements of preventing and cleaning pollution from ships and by ship-related operations;
3) The Pollutant Disposal Plan shall be in accord with the provision of pollution prevention.
3. According to revised rules, SPROs shall disclose the following information and documents to the public and meantime submitted to maritime administrative authorities of the port where SPROs’ service area is located:
1) Report illustrating that the pollution response capability of the SPRO satisfies the Requirement on SPRO’s Emergency Prevention and Response Capability in terms of capability and service area;
2) The Pollution Response Operation Plan;
3) The Pollutant Disposal Plan;
4) The facility, device, equipment, and manning of SPRO;
5) Report on signing and performance of Agreement for Ship Pollution Response and the oil spill operations it participates in.
In case there is any change in respect of their pollution response capability or service area, SPROs shall disclose such change to the public and submit to maritime administrative authorities of the port where SPROs’ service area is located in a timely manner.
4. The revised regulation newly introduces the penalty provision as follows:
Any violation of the rules and any performance of the followings will be imposed by a penalty in the amount from RMB 10,000 to RMB 50,000 by maritime administrative authorities:
1) The Owners/operators of vessels carrying polluting and hazardous cargoes in bulk or any other vessels above 10,000gt have not concluded Agreement for Ship Pollution Response in accordance with related rules;
2) The conclusion of Agreement for Ship Pollution Response and the pollution response operation are beyond SPRO’s capability level or service area;
3) The SPROs fail to fulfill stand-by duty in accordance with related rules.
To sum up, the revised regulation, although abolished assessment and certification of SPRO qualifications, introduces the SPRO’s responsibility for it to ensure it meet with MSA requirement and to publish its situation or changes to the public as well as MSA. In the meantime, the penalty standard is established for breach of responsibility by the SPRO in respect of agreement signing, spill response and standby service.
  • Updates of Qianhe’s situation
Qianhe problem is still a great concern for many ship owners and or operators who have entered into annual agreements with them. As per our understanding from relevant parties, as Qianhe is under investigation for suspected smuggling act, it shall not be disqualified for the time being before China Customs make final conclusion. Meantime, since Qianhe is under comprehensive investigation and many managers have been detained, we were advised by our local offices that most of Qianhe office cannot be reached by telephone and their offices are closed as per our on-site check. In view of the current situation, it appears that Qinahe’s business conditions are seriously deteriorating.
Hope the above is of assistance. Any query or comment, please always feel free to contact us.
Sincerely yours,

Shan Hong
Vice President
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