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We have received an update regarding changes to the approval system of Ship Pollution Response Operators (SPROs) in the People’s Republic of China from our local correspondent, Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd. On 18 March 2015, the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China issued a formal notice announcing its intention to cancel Qualification Assessment and Certification of SPROs. As a result, China MSA will no longer evaluate the SPROs or issue certificates for them. Members should note that the regulations which came into force on 1 March 2010 still require the owner/operator of any vessel above 10,000gt to enter into a pollution response agreement. Going forward it will be the responsibility of the owner/operator to evaluate the SPRO and make sure that the SPRO meets the MSA requirements. Vessels which fail to meet MSA’s requirements will be subject to penalties including, but not limited to, monetary fines. We therefore recommend that owners/operators exercise extra caution when contracting with SPROs to ensure they satisfy MSA’s requirements. The International Group are monitoring the position and are in contact with MSA. The club will continue to provide updates as and when further information becomes available. If a member has any queries regarding the content of this web alert, they should not hesitate to get in touch with their usual club contact.