Rate this article:  

Table of contents


Following completion of the pre-transfer inspections of the vessel, the Master or the Chief Officer should conduct a meeting with the vessel’s personnel involved in the loading operations and the terminal representatives. The purpose is to communicate the fullest information necessary to enable the vessel and the shore terminal personnel to conduct the discharge operations safely. The names and respective employers and clients of all personnel attending the pre-transfer conference should be recorded.

A. Information to be obtained from the terminal
The vessel’s officers (Chief Officer) should obtain the following information from the shore terminal
  • shore cargo system information, including the
    – number and size of shore lines to be used to receive the vessel’s cargo
    – length of shore lines
    – number of shore tanks to be discharged into, the altitude of the tanks and the level of cargo in each
    – type of floating roof installations in cargo tanks
    – maximum cargo pressure and transfer rates allowed
    – shore pipeline displacements before, between and after discharging grades
    – cargo loading stops required for shore tank changes or sampling and testing
    – availability of shore booster pumps and the minimum pressure which must be provided by the vessel to operate them
  • number and sizes of hoses/arms to be used
  • operating envelope of the loading arms and any freeboard restrictions imposed.

    The communication system to be used and phrases/signals to be used for
  • advising the ship/shore person in charge of the need to standby
  • stopping the transfer (while on standby)
  • emergency stop
  • other emergencies, such as spill, fire, electrical storm, mooring failure etc.

    Further essential information to be obtained and procedures to be agreed are
  • emergency telephone numbers of terminal management personnel, local hospitals, police and fire services
  • a copy of any particular facility regulations and local rules which must be observed by the vessel
  • estimated time the shore terminal will be ready to receive cargo
  • shore berth manning and shift arrangements.

    B. Information to be provided to the terminal

    The vessel’s officers (Chief Officer) should provide the terminal representative with the following information
  • copy of the stowage plan indicating cargo distribution within the vessel
  • copy of the cargo discharge, COW and ballasting plans
  • information regarding the last cargo(es) carried and method of tank preparation used to prepare for the current cargo(es)
  • maximum discharge rates anticipated for starting routine discharging and stripping tanks
  • operation of the inert gas generator system
  • material safety data sheet for the cargo(es) on board
  • proposed sequence of discharging (if multiple grades of cargo)
  • procedure for changing grades of cargo
  • any tank washing/flushing to be performed
  • vessel’s contingency plan or vessel response plan for responding to an oil pollution incident
  • bunkering and storing operations anticipated
  • crew watch manning and shift arrangements; crew changes to be conducted (if permitted)
  • vessel repairs to be completed while alongside (if permitted).

    With multi-grade cargoes, a clear agreement must be reached as to the procedures to be employed to avoid cargo contamination. These procedures must be included in the Chief Officer’s cargo orders or night orders.

    For a checklist for ship-terminal communications while discharging, please refer to Annexes 3.3 and 3.4.

    C. Revised discharging plan
    Based on the information obtained during the meeting with the terminal representative(s) the Chief Officer may amend his/her bar chart, time diagram of the discharge, COW and ballast water operations (if permitted under national regulations). He/she should review the time diagram with the Master and, after any necessary revisions, provide a copy to the shore terminal and post a copy in the CCR.