Business urges not to return to previous ship inspection practices
The member companies of the EBA Logistics Committee are concerned about the recent statement of the new head of State Ecological Inspectorate on the restoration of unimpeded access for inspectors to enter port areas to control water pollution. The activities of the State Ecological Inspectorate in ports, in particular, illegal inspections of vessels, has been a problem repeatedly raised by representatives of the port industry for the last few years.
It will be recalled that in July-August 2019 the Government of Ukraine approved two respective Procedures – on cooperation between the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA) and the State Ecological Inspectorate to ensure compliance with environmental legislation in case the pollutants are detected within the port, to inspect vessels, and to conduct water sampling and analysis.
Since then, a clear and uniform algorithm of inspections was defined, while requirements for the inspection procedure was established, as well as the actions of USPA and state inspectors for environmental protection in establishing the fact of pollution.
Successful implementation of these acts contributed to the cooperation between state inspectors and representatives of the USPA and the clear establishment of their actions if ships are detected to discharge pollutants within the port area. These acts also ensure the effective implementation of Ukraine′s international obligations in environmental protection arising from Ukraine′s membership in international organizations whose activities related to sea and river transport, merchant shipping.
Given the previous unjustified interference of marine eco-inspectors and numerous lawsuits against unreasonable penalties charged from ships, EBA member companies are concerned about restoring additional powers to inspectors in port areas.
For the proper functioning of the mechanism of ship inspection and fair penalties in case of violations, it is necessary to develop and approve the Procedure for calculating the amount of compensation and payment for damages caused by pollution from ships, and other vessels of territorial and inland waters of Ukraine.
Experts of the European Business Association were actively involved in the preparation of regulations on environmental control in seaports and the procedure of cooperation between the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority and the State Ecological Inspectorate in case of pollutant discharges within the port area and are ready to provide expert support in the further development of the Procedure for calculating the amount of compensation.