OSRO requirements for bunkering in Argentina

Steamship Mutual Club correspondents Pandi Liquidadores have issued a Circular with information about the requirement of the Argentine Coast Guard for any vessel receiving bunkers at Zona Comun (off La Plata, Buenos Aires), to contract with an oil spill response organization (OSRO) on a preventive basis to guarantee an oil spill response within 60 minutes of occurrence (whether a tanker or not).

Pandi Liquidadores said that, due to recent enquiries it had consulted with the Environmental Protection division of the Coast Guard, which confirmed that received indicating that the Coast Guards at La Plata required to any vessel receiving bunkers at Zona Comun (off La Plata, within 12 miles from the coast) to have in place preventive arrangements to respond to any oil spill within 60 minutes of occurrence (commonly referred as an “OSRO Certificate”), stating that it had been decided by the Chief of Coast Guard’s La Plata station.

The requirement applies to any vessel, whether a tanker or not. Previously, it was understood that the tanker providing the bunkers should have their own “oil spill response” arrangements, only. However, Pandi Liquidadores said that, considering the Coast Guard’s requirement at La Plata, any vessel planning to load bunkers at “Zona Comun” should consider arranging for a preventive system to guarantee a response to oil spill within 60 minutes (i.e. to have an “OSRO Certificate” in place).

“As far as we understand, the cost for this service being offered by some OSRO’s is in the region of $3,200. The Maritime Authority has also stressed that when bunkers are delivered either alongside a berth or at a lightering area within 12 miles from the coast, it is necessary to have booms deployed when in port or equipment and personnel mobilized in designated lightering areas which are provided by OSROs approved by Coast Guards”, the correspondent said.