Marine Environment Protection Committee 40th Session 18-25 September 1997
MARPOL Convention - amendments and revisions
MEPC 40 report states:
"Coulombi Egg" tanker design concept"
3.28 The Committee approved the design concept of the "Coulombi Egg" tanker in principle, in accordance with MARPOL 73/78 regulation I/13F(5) as an equivalent to the basic double hull requirement. As a result, the Secretariat was instructed to issue an MEPC circular approving the design concept, in principle, and including the description and diagram shown at annex 11 to BLG 2/15.
3.29 The delegation of the United States stated that it does not consider the "Coulombi Egg" tanker design equivalent to the double hull design. The "Coulombi Egg" design was evaluated by the United States in its study and report to the United States Congress on tank vessel designs and has not been found acceptable as equivalent to double hulls. Therefore, tank vessels meeting the "Coulombi Egg" design as an equivalent to the double hull design will not be allowed in United States ports.
Actually United States had 1997 never evaluated the "Coulombi Egg" design. The matter was discussed in the United States Congress 1998 and the only US report was done 2001 as explained in the links left so 3.29 announced 1997 above is not truthful.
The IMO approval by MEPC 40th Session 18-25 September 1997 of the "Coulombi Egg" is described in MEPC circular letter no. 336. Unfortunately the IMO database 2015 does not mention the "Coulombi Egg" design and its approval 1997. If you ask the IMO ... they do not reply.
No other alternative oil tanker design has since until today 2018 been presented to the IMO/MEPC to outperform the COULOMBI EGG tanker and its much inferior Marpol Double Hull standard.
It is clear evidence that the COULOMBI EGG tanker is the best design.
Only the USA/USCG strangely disapproves of the COULOMBI EGG tanker.
No scientific reason has ever been given by the US authorities.
In order to get approved by MEPC/IMO you had to get approval by BLG so earlier 1997:
"The Sub-Committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG) this year, 1997, agreed the "Coulombi Egg" design fulfilled the requirements for oil outflow calculations and therefore should be considered an alternative design under MARPOL Regulation 1/13F(5). Regulation 13F makes double hulls and bottoms mandatory for new tankers, but allows for alternative designs to be accepted as long as they provide at least the same level of protection."
And the US already then just said:
"The United States does not consider the "Coulombi Egg" tanker design as equivalent to the double hull design and tankers meeting the Coulombi Egg design will not be allowed in United States ports."
Therefore the United States is no longer a party to Marpol I, i.e. ships entering US waters must adhere to US unilateral legislation, e.g. OPA 90, etc. and be certified accordingly.
For comments about the US refusal to accept the
"Coulombi Egg" tanker
The Europan Commission presented a series of
legislative measures in its Communication (COM (2000) 142
final) on the "safety of seaborne oil trade" in March
2000. The European Union evidently approves the "Coulombi
Egg" tanker design. The Communication is found on the
The European Commission, as the IMO, has included the single hull "Coulombi Egg" tanker design as an equivalent design tanker, in its proposal for an accelerated phasing-in scheme for double hull or similar type tankers with superior protection than conventional single hull. Unfortunately EU does not react that USA forbids EU "Coulombi Egg" tankers to trade to US ports.