622 - 2/09 - Unfair Penalties - Black Sea Ports

The Association is familiar with unfair penalties in Black Sea ports, namely Ukrainian ports. This bulletin reports on the situation now occurring in Georgian ports.

Georgian Law contains a provision that any pollution incident carries a minimum fine of US$4,000. This lower limit is applied even in cases where the evidence is unsubstantial and cases deemed unfair.

When the Georgian Environmental Organization alleges a pollution incident and imposes a fine, the fine is normally immediately acknowledged by the local courts. Owners must comply with the judgement otherwise the vessel will remain detained.

When a vessel is detained the master is brought before the local court, facing allegations of pollution. The defendant/owners and its P&I Club are not in a position to defend the claim or provide any evidence which may contest the allegation.

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Date06/02/2009