DNV GL launches VGP verification service

30 Jan 2015
DNV GL trialled its VGP verification service onboard Wilh. Wilhelmsen ro-ro vessel 'MV Tarago'

DNV GL trialled its VGP verification service onboard Wilh. Wilhelmsen ro-ro vessel 'MV Tarago'

DNV GL has launched a verification service offering ship operators a review of procedures and documentation for US Vessel General Permits (VGP).

Recent updates to the VGP have brought new technical and reporting requirements for vessels operating in US waters, including the need for the preparation of a detailed annual report. DNV GL’s service helps to ensure compliance by providing a comprehensive review.

The service consists of a review of company-wide VGP procedures. Onboard visits confirm that documentation meets requirements and that the vessel is operating within its environmental procedures and VGP requirements.

“The service gives our customers a second set of unbiased expert eyes on their documentation procedures. It can be tailored to exactly what the customer needs, from a desktop review or workshop outlining VGP changes, to a full on-board and shore review and plan for corrective action, even help and advice on developing a VGP plan from scratch”, said Terje Sverud, head of section environment advisory at DNV GL - Maritime.

Once the review and any corrective actions have been taken, DNV GL provides a verification statement indicating that as observed the vessel’s operations and record-keeping are consistent with VGP requirements. This verification statement also contains a list of the VGP requirements and outlines how the vessel fulfils the requirements – a useful reference list for a vessel’s crew during a VGP inspection.

A pilot project was carried out on Wilh. Wilhelmsen’s ro-ro vessel, the MV Tarago. After examining Wilh. Wilhelmsen’s company-wide VGP recommended practices, DNV GL experts went onboard the MV Tarago and conducted a careful review of the record-keeping.

The ballast water management plan, deck logbook, engine room logbook, and VGP logbook were all checked to ensure that all necessary records were present. The verification confirmed Wilh. Wilhelmsen’s high standards and thorough preparation, but also identified opportunities for improvement.

DNV GL said the service could minimise the chance of errors, which can result in a costly violation. The verification statement provided by DNV GL also provides an easy way for vessel operators to demonstrate that they have taken all aspects of the VGP into consideration, in the event the vessel is inspected by US authorities.

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