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Cover for mobile offshore units may be made available by the Association on the terms of separate Rules, and the provisions of the other parts of these Rules shall not apply.
A mobile offshore unit differs from the traditional form of ship in that its mobility is merely incidental to its main function, which is to be an integral part of the production operations of the site at which it is located. It includes equipment that is intended purely for that production operation such as risers, flowlines, umbilicals, floating hoses, buoyancy floats or tanks and mooring systems. Consequently, the risks that arise in relation to the operation of such units are very different in nature to those that arise in relation to the operation of the more traditional types of ships, and are, therefore, difficult to accommodate into the mainstream structure of a mutual association that is designed to insure ships of the traditional type.
For this reason the P&I clubs that are members of the International Group of P&I Clubs have agreed to exclude risks relating to such units from the risks that they share inter se by inclusion of the following provision in Appendix II of the Pooling Agreement which defines an ’eligible vessel’, i.e. a vessel that qualifies for cover under the Pooling Agreement, as:
“Any ship, boat, hydrofoil, hovercraft or other description of vessel (including a lighter, barge or similar vessel howsoever propelled but excluding (a) a unit or vessel constructed or adapted for the purpose of carrying out drilling operations in connection with oil or gas exploration or production and (b) a fixed platform or fixed rig) used or intended to be used for any purpose whatsoever in navigation or otherwise on, under, over or in water or any part of such ship, boat, hydrofoil, hovercraft or other description of vessel or any proportion of the tonnage thereof or any share therein”.
Therefore, mobile offshore units are not insured as Ships1 for the purposes of the Rules for Ships, but separate P&I cover is available for such units.2 Rule 64 emphasises that the Rules in Parts I, II, IV, V and VI of the Rules for Ships do not apply to mobile offshore units.
1 See the definition of ‘Ship’ in Rule 1.
2 See the Rules for Mobile Offshore Units.