The UK Club have received the following update from Dias Marine Consulting, in regards to current ballasting issues in Ukrainian ports. This follows their last update from June this year.
We suppose many our Principals are already aware of ecological inspectors’ attacks on foreign ships in the Ukrainian ports, but we have to report that for the recent fortnight they have acquired literally massive character. Every day our company receives requests for assistance from the shipowners and P&I Clubs. Having thoroughly analyzed the ecological inspectors’ actions during the latest incidents, as well as having conferred with a number of lawyers on the matter, we have worked out present recommendations which we believe will help to repel the said attacks in a most efficient way.
Recommendations to the Master:
- Make sure that the ballast taken in other parts of the World's Ocean is changed to the Black Sea waters while ship’s passage to one of the Ukrainian ports;
- Do not obstruct the Ecologists’ attendance on board;
- However never allow the ecological inspectors’ to take samples of segregated ballast;
- Permit the inspectors to study documentation on deballasting operations (if they ask for this);
- Do make sure that they are not left alone during the inspection and get some ship’s representative to accompany them at all times;
- Do not give bribes in the hope of escaping the fine;
Very often ecological inspectors trying to take ballast samples resort to trickery. They start fussing on the pier where the ship is berthed taking photos and video recording something around the ship and then inform the Master about some oil or dirty spots revealed on the water surface nearby and tell him that they have to take samples of the ship’s ballast to prove that the pollution was not caused by this vessel. Almost any suchlike case is just a “show” aimed at getting access to the ship’s ballast tanks.
In such cases we recommend the following:
- Contact P&I Correspondent immediately;
- Let the ecological inspectors know that a joint survey/visual observation of the sea water area around the ship together with Port State Control officer, Chief Officer and P&I surveyor will be arranged for and assure them that if such joint visual inspection reveal traces of sea pollution they will be allowed to take samples of the ballast from the ships tanks in the presence of a P&I surveyor.
Dias Marine Consulting
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