Taiwan to ban foreign single-hull oil tankers

October 11, 2011

Taiwan's Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) has announced it will ban foreign single-hull oil tankers from the country's ports by 2013.

The official policy will be formed by the end of the year and shipping companies will have a further one year grace period before enforcement in 2013.

The news comes weeks after the Jui Hsing, a Panama-registered gravel vessel, ran aground near Keelung Harbor due to stormy weather, releasing oil into the seas around the northern coast.

Single-hull tankers, which separate ocean water from the oil they carry with only a single hull surface and side plate, have a higher risk of spilling oil in accidents or collisions than double-hull tankers the MOTC said.

According to International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations, all single-hull oil tankers should be eliminated or replaced with double hulls before the anniversary of the ship's date of delivery in 2015 or when the ship reaches 25 years of age, whichever comes first.

However the ban is only against foreign vessels since, the MOTC says, domestic single-hull vessels mostly navigate on inland seas or around industrial ports and pose lower security concerns. China, South Korea and Singapore have already imposed bans on single-hull tankers.