Ship to Ship Transfer Guide for Petroleum, Chemicals and Liquefied Gases

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Number of Pages:
Book Height:
240 mm
Book Width:
150 mm
1 kg
Published Date:
November 2013
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This cross industry publication developed jointly by ICS, OCIMF, SIGTTO and CDI provides guidance on planning and execution of STS operations. It is applicable to all ships involved in transfer activities and to all types of bulk liquid cargoes, whether transferred at sea or in port. It will benefit Masters, Marine Superintendents and others, such as STS service providers and transfer organisers, involved in STS operations.

This industry guide provides recommendations on safety, minimum equipment levels and good operating practices for STS operations. It is a required publication on the SIRE Vessel Inspection Questionnaires (VIQ) for Oil Tankers, Combination Carriers, Shuttle Tankers, Chemical Tankers and Gas Tankers.

This book supersedes:

  • Ship to Ship Transfer Guide (Petroleum) 4th Edition published in 2005
  • Ship to Ship Transfer Guide (Liquefied Gas) 2nd Edition published in 1995
  • LNG Ship to Ship Transfer Guidelines published in 201.1

This book builds on the previous recommendations and recognises experience gained in the industry of STS transfer operations, including transferring chemical (MARPOL Annex II) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes. The guide is applicable to transfers involving all bulk liquid cargoes, but where specific recommendations relate to a particular cargo type these can be found in the appendices. For transfers involving Annex I cargoes, the guide supports the requirements and recommendations developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Section 1 – General Principles

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Background

1.3 Scope

1.4 Risk assessments

1.5 Control of operations

1.6 Role of a ship to ship superintendent

1.7 Person in overall advisory control

1.8 Training and familiarisation of ship’s personnel

1.9 Security

Section 2 – Conditions and Requirements

2.1 Ship to ship compatibility

2.2 Notification to and approval from authorities

2.3 Transfer area

2.4 Environmental conditions

2.5 Quality assurance of ship to ship service providers

Section 3 – Safety

3.1 General

3.2 Risk assessment

3.3 Personal protective equipment and life saving appliances

3.4 Use of checklists

3.5 Material safety data sheets

3.6 Gas accumulation on open decks

3.7 Action in case of infringement of safety

3.8 Action in case of cargo leakage

3.9 Helicopter operations

3.10 Safety during cargo transfer

Section 4 – Communications

4.1 General communications

4.2 Language

4.3 Pre-arrival communications

4.4 Navigational warnings

4.5 Communications during approach, mooring and unmooring

4.6 Communications during cargo transfer operations

4.7 Procedures for communication failure

Section 5 – Operational Preparations

5.1 General

5.2 Joint plan of operation

5.3 Preparation of ships

5.4 Lightering support vessels

5.5 Navigational signals

Section 6 – Manoeuvring and Mooring

6.1 Basic principles

6.2 Manoeuvring alongside at sea with two ships under power

6.3 Manoeuvres with one ship at anchor

6.4 Manoeuvring for in port operations

6.5 Manoeuvring with one ship alongside a terminal

6.6 Mooring operations

Section 7 – Procedures Alongside

7.1 Pre-transfer procedures

7.2 Responsibility for cargo operations

7.3 Planning for cargo transfer

7.4 Cargo transfer – general guidance

7.5 Operations after completion of cargo transfer

7.6 Bunkering and storing

Section 8 – Unmooring

8.1 Preparations for unmooring

8.2 Unmooring procedure

Section 9 – Equipment

9.1 Fenders

9.2 Cargo transfer hoses

9.3 Mooring equipment

9.4 Personnel transfers – at sea operations

9.5 Personnel transfers – in port operations

9.6 Lighting

9.7 Ancillary equipment for ship to ship operations

9.8 Equipment noise levels

Section 10 – Emergencies

10.1 Contingency planning and emergency response procedures

10.2 Emergency signal

10.3 Emergency situations

10.4 Examples of potential emergencies

10.5 Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan, Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SMPEP) and Vessel Response Plan (VRP)

10.6 State of readiness for an emergency

10.7 Cessation of transfer operations as a precautionary measure


A Additional considerations for ship to ship transfers involving MARPOL Annex I cargoes (crude oil and petroleum products)

B Additional considerations for ship to ship transfers Involving MARPOL Annex II Cargoes (chemicals)

C Additional considerations for ship to ship transfers involving liquefied petroleum gas cargoes

D Additional considerations for ship to ship transfers involving liquefied natural gas cargoes

E Operational/safety checklists

F Example checklist for personnel transfers by crane

G Example checklist for transfers involving vapour balancing

H Fender selection calculation

I Considerations applicable to reverse lightering operations

J Guidance for connection of individual hose lengths to assemble a hose string

K Guidance on risk assessment processes

L Example liquefied natural gas ship to ship transfer compatibility questionnaire

Number of Pages:
Binding Format:
Book Height:
240 mm
Book Width:
150 mm
1 kg
Published Date:
November 2013
Publication Date:
November 2013