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Cargo transfer - general guidance

The receiving vessel should control the cargo transfer operation in line with the requirements of the
agreed cargo plan. The discharging vessel should work to facilitate the requirements of the receiving
vessel. Throughout cargo transfer operations the cargo manifold areas of both ships should be observed
by a competent person to monitor the status of the hoses. In addition, a responsible person on each ship
should be in communication with the other vessel(s) and be able to immediately stop the transfer.
Cargo transfer should begin at an agreed slow rate to enable the receiving ship to check that the cargo
pipeline system is correctly set. The transfer rate should also be reduced to the agreed topping-off rate
when the receiving ship's tanks are approaching their final ullage or sounding. Throughout the transfer (at
least once an hour) transfer rate checks and comparisons should be made between the two ships, and the
results logged. Any differences or anomalies should be carefully checked and, if necessary, cargo
operations should be suspended until the differences are resolved.
When agreeing the transfer rate, in addition to normal operational considerations account should be taken
of factors including, but not limited to, the following:
Limitations dictated by the cargo transfer equipment.
Any limitations imposed by inert gas/vapor management systems and by flow velocities in the ships'
fixed cargo piping or venting systems.
Cargo operations should be conducted under closed conditions with all ullage, sounding/sampling ports
securely closed. When establishing safe filling levels, due account should be taken of the impact of vessel
motions on the accuracy of in-tank ullaging/gauging systems, the operation of independent high level
alarms and the potential for the carryover of cargo into vapor systems in the event of over filling.
The incorrect operation of pumps and valves may produce pressure surges that can be sufficiently
severe to damage the pipeline or transfer equipment. Consideration should be given to the prevention of
pressure surges by careful planning, good communications, effective control of pump speeds and the
operation of valves, particularly when topping-off.
Static accumulator cargoes may require extra precautions and recommendations contained in accepted
industry codes of practice should be adhered to when handling this type of cargo. During cargo transfer,
appropriate ballast operations should be performed to manage stress and stability and to minimize the
differences in freeboard between the ships. Excessive trims should be avoided. Likewise, listing should be
avoided except as required for cargo tank draining on the discharging ship. For at sea operations, to
ensure full maneuvering capability, propeller immersion should be maintained throughout the operation.
All ballast operations should be conducted in accordance with the ship's ballast water management plan.
Any national or local regulations controlling discharge of ships' ballast water should be complied with.
Constant attention should be paid to mooring lines and fenders to avoid chafing and undue stress,
particularly that caused by changes in relative freeboard. If at any time mooring lines or fender pennants
need to be re-positioned or adjusted, this should only be done under strictly controlled conditions.
Consideration should be given to the need to suspend other operations to attend to these activities.
See appendices B7.4 (chemicals), C7.4 (LPG) and D7.4 (LNG) for additional guidance relating to transfer
procedures for the respective cargoes.