ITCO Examines Organization Role in Regulatory Processes, Training

Jan. 1, 2001
AS PART of its current campaign to expand and improve the portfolio of services available to its membership, the International Tank Container Organization

AS PART of its current campaign to expand and improve the portfolio of services available to its membership, the International Tank Container Organization (ITCO) is focusing on greater participation in international regulatory meetings and the development of distance learning training courses. These measures were agreed at the organization's October 2000 meeting in Dusseldorf, Germany, according to Willie Freson, ITCO secretary.

As part of the growing commitment to regulatory matters, ITCO agreed to establish a working group to develop the industry's position on the draft European Council Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive (99/36/EC) and the proposed European Standards Organization pressure equipment standard (CEN 296/WG). All equipment entering service in the European Community after July 1, 2003, must comply with the directive. Both initiatives will impact tank container design, construction, and ancillary equipment.

The draft rule includes a number of anomalies and provisions that do not adequately reflect established tank design criteria and the exemplary safety record built up by these transport units over the last 30 years, Freson said. Such provisions could entail significant additional costs for the industry, and it is important that ITCO presents the case for its members and all those involved with tank containers early in the rulemaking process for both these initiatives.

Another subject discussed was the use of ITCO ACC (Acceptable Container Condition) guidelines and what the organization would do to maintain the standard on a global basis. Various interpretations are creating confusion and discrepancies within the industry, and a cost for all, said Walter Boasso, chairman of Boasso America Corp.

Maintaining the standards is directly related to training, which prompted discussion of the training package initiative aimed at providing ITCO membership and others in the tank container sector with training courses. The courses will explain tank cleaning and repair standards agreed by the industry, as well as the basic elements of safe tank container operations. Use will be made of computer-based interactive distance learning modules whenever practicable, but ITCO expertise will be available as part of the overall training initiative.

The additional funding required for the regulatory meeting and the training course initiatives is being raised as a result of the current drive to attract new members to ITCO. Other topics at the meeting included:

- New, standardized ITCO operator terms of delivery have been provided to ensure that all parties have a precise understanding of the elements included when a tank container service customer is given a quotation.

- ITCO is developing the standard trading terms and conditions that will comprise the ITCO Operators Charter Party. The draft charter party had been sent out to all operator members prior to the meeting, and comments were collected at the meeting.

- The ITCO Standard Cleanliness Certificate, which is published in the ACC, has been submitted to the European Association of Tank Cleaning Stations (EFTCO) for possible adoption as part of that association's standardization process.

- Consideration was given to a complaint filed by an ITCO member concerning the utilization of tank containers by a major chemical company in a manner that contravened existing dangerous goods transport regulations.

ITCO Chairman Jeremy Bergbaum, of Transamerica Leasing, said that one responsibility of ITCO was to take up the defense of its members and address such malpractice. As an immediate first step, it is necessary to alert the parties involved of the applicable regulations.

The next ITCO plenary meeting will be held in February 2001 in a European capital. Paris, London, and Dublin are among the cities being considered.

For further information on ITCO, please contact Willy Freson, ITCO Secretary, at 32-2-672-0626, fax: 32-2-662- 1108, email:[email protected].

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