Tanker transportation is a transportation method that has been used to transport oil and other chemicals to remote locations since the beginning of the 20th century. The first tanker ships were designed and built specifically for the transport of liquids. The first tanker ships began to be used in the late 19th century and quickly became widespread with the development of the oil industry.
The transportation of goods carried by tanker ships in large quantities has played an important role in trade and economic growth around the world. Oil and other chemicals were transported via tanker ships to be sent to distant places, and this accelerated trade between countries. In addition, the cheap and easy accessibility of petroleum and other energy resources contributed to the economic and social development of the countries of the world.
Although the development of tanker transportation is accepted as a safe and efficient transportation method, this sector also poses serious risks for the environment and human health. Substances carried by tanker ships may leak into the sea and damage the environment due to natural disasters, interventions or engineering errors. In addition, the high availability of substances transported by tanker ships increases the environmental and human health risks resulting from accidents.
In recent years, various environmental standards and regulations have been enacted to reduce environmental and human health risks in the tanker transport industry. These include rules regarding the operation, structure, equipment and transportation of loaded goods of tanker ships.
Important Regulations for Tanker Ships
First, the MARPOL Convention, put into effect by the IMO (International Maritime Organization), aims to prevent and limit the waste materials of tanker ships that pollute the marine environment. This convention requires tanker ships to properly treat their wastewater and other waste materials and not to release them into the sea.
Second, the IOPC Fund was established for compensation for environmental damage due to pollution of the marine and coastal environments as a result of tanker accidents. This fund helps to cover the costs incurred by tanker ships due to environmental damage.
Third, the International Safety Management (ISM) Code is designed to ensure the safe and efficient operation of tanker ships. The ISM Code requires continuous inspection and improvement of tanker ships’ equipment, personnel and processes. In addition, it obliges tankers to detect the dangers that may arise for the marine environment and human life in advance and to take the necessary measures to eliminate these dangers.