Predictability is frequently considered a negative factor in dayto-day life.
Some consider predictability being akin to routine and even boredom.
But as ships frequent the world’s various and varied ports, knowing what to expect and having a degree of predictability becomes essential to the smooth operation of
Unfortunately, the unpredictable is all too frequently the norm, and difficulties can arise between the ship and the shore when differing procedures and methods of
communication are encountered.
When it comes to the handling of ship- and cargo-generated residues, the unpredictability in service, cost structure and requirements from one port to another can be frustratingly common for both the Master and the port or terminal manager.
Take, for example, the requirement for advance notice when a ship wishes to deliver some form of ship- or cargo-generated residue ashore. In almost every port in the world there is a different advance notification form, with a different format, requiring different details and a different submission deadline.
But as an essential and ubiquitous piece of communication between the ship and the shore, it would appear strange that the format should vary quite so much.
This was one issue for deliberation by the IMO when the Industry Port Reception Facility Forum delivered its action plan to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in 2006.
Within its action plan, and among many other suggestions, the Industry Forum suggested that the IMO produce a standardized format for the Advance Notification Form (ANF).
They even developed a first draft of such a form that was also combined with a standardized Waste Delivery Receipt (WDR).
To their credit, the IMO member states embraced the initiative by the Industry Forum and adopted the action plan as its own. Since this positive and proactive movement by the IMO’s MEPC, there has been a steady stream of work delivered from the IMO, which is often overlooked or under-publicized.
The standardized ANF and WDR were quickly whipped into shape by a Correspondence Group under the Flag State Implementation sub-Committee, and adopted by the IMO in 2008 (MEPC.1/Circ.644: Standard Format for the Advance Notification Form. MEPC.1/Circ.645: Standard Format for the Waste Delivery Receipt).
The concept was not simply to improve uniformity and predictability, but also to establish a closed loop of communication in regards to the residues being handled.
The ANF was submitted, which allowed the shore to arrange for the proper collection and management of the residues.
Upon collection of the residues, a receipt is issued that clearly states the type and quantity of materials received.
This allows for the ship-side to clearly document all residues being sent ashore.