Published: 7 May 2014

On 30 September 2013, the US published its Final Rule addressing Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans. The Final Rule brought the requirements for non-tank vessels into line with the existing requirements for tank vessels. Non-tank vessel owners trading to the US are required to submit a Vessel Response Plan to the US Coast Guard.

For the purpose of preparing a Vessel Response Plan, a non-tank vessel is defined as a self-propelled, non-tank vessel of 400 gross tons or greater, that carries oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion and that operates on the navigable waters of the United States.

The Final Rule introduced two particular changes to contacting requirements for Vessel Response Plans that differed from the previous interim measures that had been in force:

(1)    OSRO Contracts:

In order to satisfy the spill response requirements of the Final Rule, non-tank vessel owners must themselves pre-contract with either one of the main oil spill response organisations (OSROs), Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) or National Response Corporation (NRC).  Both oil spill response organisations have issued spill response contracts which conform with IG guidelines on vessel response plans.

(2)    SMFF Contracts:

Additionally, non-tank owners are required to pre-contract with salvors for the provision of salvage and marine firefighting services.

The recent publications produced by the Club on this subject can be reviewed through use of the ‘US non-tank vessel response plans’ document tag provided on the Bulletins and Circulars website pages.

For more detailed information, refer to the attached the USCG Frequently Asked Questions on the subject.


In addition, we provide links to, or attached copies of, several approved contract forms from various OSROs and SMFF providers that Members can use to ensure they are contracting on appropriate terms.

OSRO Contracts

MSRC standard service agreement for tank and non-tank vessels

National Response Corporation (NRC) services agreement (see Useful Documents)

National Response Corporation (NRC) dispersant amendment release (see Useful Documents)

SMFF Agreements

Donjon Smit funding agreement and annexes 1 to 5 – February 2014 (see Useful Documents)

Marine Response Alliance (MRA) Designation and Funding Agreement – 17 January 2014 (see Useful Documents)

Resolve Salvage and Fire (Americas) Inc – VRP citation and funding agreement including appendices A to D – version 3 – 01 October 2013

Resolve Salvage and Fire (Americas) Inc – RMG OPA 90 certificate of coverage – 01 October 2013 (see Useful Documents)

Svitzer Funding agreement for international companies – 01 October 2013 (see Useful Documents)

Svitzer funding agreement for USA companies – 01 October 2013 (see Useful Documents)

T and T Salvage, LLC – non-US owner (tanker and non-tank) version – 04 October 2013

T and T Salvage, LLC – USA owner (tanker and non-tanker) version – 04 October 2013

T and T Salvage, LLC – standard tariff – 04 October 2013

T and T Salvage, LLC – written consent – 04 October 2013

Washington State

Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC) enrollment agreement – December 2013

Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC) Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) service agreement – 16 December 2013


For further information and guidance on these requirements, Members may contact the Club.