Ghana - Marked increase in MARPOL Annex IV Reg. 11.1.2 Fines
The Club’s correspondents for Ghana has highlighted the recent increase in MARPOL fines levied against vessels calling in Ghana's ports (Takoradi and Tema), particularly with relation to the discharge of sewage. Under MARPOL Annex IV, Regulation 11.1.2 (Chapter 5, Section 135 of Ghana's Marine Pollution Act), treated effluent must not "produce visible floating solids or (does not) cause discolouration of the surrounding water.
The scope of the inspections carried out by the Ghana Maritime Authority's (“GMA”) surveyors is however not always limited to sewage disposal. If the fines imposed are not paid promptly, there is a risk of the vessels being detained pending judgement in court. The correspondents recommend that vessels carry out a thorough check to ensure that are not in breach of Ghana's MARPOL requirements and that they treat GMA surveyors with all due deference and respect. If technically possible, retaining effluent on board while the vessel is in Ghanaian waters might be considered.