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The cargo loading plan is a critical vessel procedure and must be reviewed before it is accepted. After he prepares the cargo layout and stress and trim calculation, the chief officer will prepare the loading plan and review it with the master. They will confirm that it meets both the Charter requirements and the voyage orders. The master should at a minimum perform a verification check of the cargo factors and other important calculations to confirm that they are correct. They should discuss the process of loading the ship, particularly any departures from previous experience or normal ship's practice. The chief officer makes notes regarding the loading procedure changes resulting from this meeting. The master or chief officer may assign a junior officer to perform an independent cargo calculation of the loading plan as a verification check.
After the master approves the cargo loading plan, it may be transmitted to the owner's office for information or review according to company policy. The chief officer prepares a written cargo loading procedure. The procedure should include diagrams of the main stages of the cargo loading process. Copies of the plan and procedures are given to the master, pumpman and the deck officers who will perform cargo watch duties.
After the copies have been studied, the chief officer should meet individually with each of the deck officers to discuss the plan, point out any departures from regular practice and encourage comments or suggestions regarding the plan or procedures. He should hold the same discussion with the pumpman. He should also discuss with the chief engineer the requests that will be made of the engineering watch during the de-ballasting and cargo loading operation. This is particularly important if any tank washing will be required after ballast is discharged and before cargo loading begins.
A copy of the cargo plan should be posted on the Company crew bulletin board and each deck officer should be instructed to discuss the anticipated cargo operations with the seamen on his watch. Particular emphasis should be placed on routine and non-routine hazardous material procedures and precautions. In this manner, each of the crew members who will be involved in the loading operation is made aware of and becomes knowledgeable about what is going to be done. They cannot be expected to do their work intelligently without this information.
If any late cargo changes are received by the ship before reaching the loading dock, a revised loading plan must be prepared and issued. All personnel who were involved in the first loading discussions must be made aware of the change. Copies of the previous loading plan and procedures should be recovered and destroyed when the revision is issued.

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