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Following the pre-loading conference, the chief officer may amend his loading plan, will prepare supplementary loading/night orders and complete any directions necessary to ensure full control of the start of the loading operation.

3.12.1 Loading orders
The orders will include:
- Names of each grade of product or crude oil to be loaded and the quantity of each.
- Anticipated specific gravity and loading temperature of each grade of cargo.
- The cargo tank(s) each grade will be loaded into.
- The pipeline system and loading path for each grade, including setting of valves (identified by their valve identification numbers).
- The sequence of loading of cargo grades.
- The final ullage for each cargo tank.
- The stand-by time required by the terminal for reducing loading rate or stopping the cargo loading.
- The anticipated departure draft.
- Bunkers and ballast to be on board at departure.
- Identification of all valves to be sealed closed before, during, or after loading.
- The maximum loading rates to be allowed and loading rate(s) expected with the terminal.
- Loading rate to be used for topping off tanks.
- Identification of the loading 'critical path'.
- Special cargo procedures to be followed.
- Special precautions with respect to moorings.
- Equipment required (radios, ullage tapes, etc.).
- Points in the loading when the chief officer is to be called or extra manning is required.
- Reference to standing orders for cargo operations.
- Requirement that shore terminal regulations be read and signed by each cargo watch officer.
The final cargo order should always include the chief officer's golden rule for cargo watch officers: 'Call me at any time you are in doubt regarding the cargo operation.' Many watch officers have waited long beyond the 'doubt' stage and only called the chief officer when the 'doubtful' situation has degenerated into a certified emergency. The words 'anytime in doubt' must be taken literally and the chief officer called whenever the cargo officer is unsure how to proceed.
If the chief officer has left an unclear loading situation, or confusing orders, he deserves to be awakened to explain what needs to be done. If the shore deviates from the agreed loading plan, the chief officer should be called immediately. The cargo watch officers must perform their duties with the confidence of a complete understanding of how the loading is proceeding and what the next required action will be. Any time they do not have this confidence, they should call for assistance!

3.12.2 Ship's standard cargo procedures
The chief officer's loading orders will reference the company standard loading procedures and call attention to any particular sections of the standard procedures required by the current operation. To provide compliance with US Coast Guard and other requirements, the standard procedures or cargo orders must be included the following:
- List of product(s) transferred to/from the vessel. Cargo information including:
• Name of the cargo.
• Cargo appearance.
• Cargo odour.
• Handling hazards.
• Instructions for safe handling.
• Procedures for any person exposed to a cargo spill.
• Fire fighting procedures - extinguishing agent to apply.
• General procedure for the cargo transfer. Description of oil transfer system on the vessel:
• Location(s) of the piping diagram(s) for cargo system.
• Locations of shutoff valves/separation devices for:
    Bilge piping separation from other systems.
    Ballast system piping from other systems.
    Oil cargo systems from other systems.
- Procedures for emptying the discharge containment system in the event of cargo spillage.
- Number of persons required on duty during cargo transfer operations.
- Names, titles and duty hours of cargo transfer personnel.
- Tasking (by name), duties and procedures for tending moorings.
- Procedures for emergency shutdown, including duty officer action to:
• Inform the person in charge of the terminal.
• Stop oil flow immediately by:
    Close emergency shutdown valves, with locations.
    Call out emergency party.
    Other necessary actions.
- Means of communication while transferring cargo.
- Type of radios.
- Regular check of power supply.
- Regular function testing.
- Terminal using same radio frequency.
- Communication checks with terminal.
- Procedures for topping off tanks, including final ullage of each.
- Procedures for ensuring that all valves are closed after completion of cargo transfer.
- Procedure for verifying that valves have been closed.
- Procedure for reporting oil discharge into the sea, including:
• Immediate stop of transfer operations.
• Informing/advising:
    a Chief officer/master.
    b Shore terminal.
    c Agent.
    d US Coast Guard.
• Call out of the emergency team.
• Directing emergency team to begin oil removal. Requirements for resuming oil transfer.
- Other procedures.
- Procedure for opening and closing vessel openings:
• Expansion trunk hatches.
• Ullage openings.
• Sounding ports.
• Tank cleaning openings.
• Any other opening that could permit an oil spill in the event of an accident.
• Only a licensed officer or tankerman may direct opening of any of these closure mechanisms.
- Designation of the 'person in charge of oil transfer operation' by the master.

3.12.3 Other preparations
The chief officer must verify that all other cargo control preparations are properly completed. He should verify that all valves to be locked, sealed, or lashed are as required.
On multi-grade loadings, all valves used to provide cargo separation should be sealed with numbered seals. If the valves are CCR operated, then clear plastic covers should be taped over the buttons on the valve control panel.
Temporary labels applied for manifold and other valve identification should be verified. Temporary valve markings can be conveniently applied with wide masking tape and an indelible black felt marking pen. Stretch the tape across the handwheel from one side to the other and mark the grade of cargo to be loaded through the valve on the tape. This precaution is particularly useful on parcel tankers using manually operated tank valves. Cargo loading arms or hoses should be marked with chalk to indicate the grade of cargo to be loaded through them.

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