The Ministry of Communications (MOC) recently issued the Circular on Forbidden of Transformation of Dangerous Liquid Cargo Carriers Engaged in Domestic Waterway Transport so as to improve the technical structures and conditions of China's liquid carriers carrying dangerous goods, ensure the safety of waterway transport and protect marine and water environment. The circular forbids the transformation of general cargo vessels into liquid carriers (including oil tankers, asphalt carriers, chemical carriers and liquefied gas carriers) carrying dangerous goods engaged in domestic waterway transport; any conversion of liquid carriers between different categories is forbidden; the dangerous liquid cargo carriers previously engaged in international voyages are forbidden to be deployed into domestic services even after transformation; the dangerous liquid cargo carriers previously engaged in non-profitable services (such as port bunkering vessels and bunkering vessels for fish boats) are forbidden to be engaged in domestic waterway transport; the new building engaged in domestic waterway transport shall be approved by the competent authority of transport and communications in advance. Any construction of new building without official approval will fail to obtain the relevant ship's survey and registration certificates as well as business license.
The Circular also emphasized that the vessels approved by the competent authority of transport and communications, which have obtained the certificates of survey after transformation, may be put into operation after the verification of China Classification Society. Any construction that has not started shall be suspended and any vessel after illegal transformation without official approval shall be forbidden from operation.