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ships (three oil tankers and one containership) had intentionally by-passed required pollution prevention equipment (mainly the oily water separator) and falsified the oil record book, a required log regularly inspected by the US Coast Guard (USCG). “Shipping companies who foul the water by deliberately discharging oil and lying about it to the Coast Guard can expect to be prosecuted,” said Paul Fishman, attorney for the District of New Jersey.


“Deliberate pollution and intentional falsification of ship records to hide environmental crimes are serious offences. These reprehensible actions not only damage the marine environment, but also put lawbreakers at a competitive advantage over those who respect the law and play by the rules,” said Ignacia Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.


He noted: “We intend to send a message with these prosecutions that those engaged in deliberate despoiling of our precious natural resources will be vigorously prosecuted.”


A class society surveyor, or a flag administration surveyor, cannot travel with the vessel 24/7, leaving it up to the officers and crew to interpret the rules as best they can. To be fair, most succeed with flying colours and it is only a very minor percentage that gives the shipping industry a bad name.


Powers of detention


At the heart of the inspection regime is port state control, which in the USA is handled by the USCG, while in Europe, a number of country administrations have joined together to form the Paris Memorandum of Understanding. Both bodies target what they deem to be sub-standard vessels and have the powers to detain a vessel until a perceived deficiency is fixed.


Cazzulo said he wants a better balance between safety, the environment and integrity, especially in today’s economic climate. He also expressed concern over the increase in software and management interface, which he admitted is a class problem as well. “There should be more discussion between the regulators and the industry on how to exchange data on ship performance,” he said. He also said that the IMO is discussing legal instruments to allow the exchange of information, including eNavigation. Of immediate concern to owners, managers and operators alike is the International Labour Organisation’s


104 July/August 2013


carrying out the shipowner’s stated plans and ensuring that the vessel complies with its MLC certificate.


Returning to the subject of


It is important that we reinforce our commitment to our fundamental aims. – Roberto Cazzulo,


Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006), which is due to enter force on August 20 this year.


This is a sort of ‘Bill of Rights’ for seafarers aimed at improving and providing safer working and living conditions on board vessels, thus creating a better environment. Warnings have been issued to both seafarers and shore staff to be fully aware of their rights and obligations in the event that a vessel is deemed non-compliant once the convention enters force.


The convention will be policed by port state control officers (PSCO) who will have the power to detain a vessel if it is found to be non-compliant.


Conditions of employment


Basically, MLC 2006 covers conditions of employment, hours of work and rest, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection. Again, the classification societies, acting as ROs to the flag state administrations, are offering certification services to the shipowners, managers and operators. The PSCO, upon boarding a vessel, will concentrate on the certificates as well as ensuring that vessels have the correct facilities for seafarers.


Another area of concern is that the shore personnel carry out their responsibilities towards the seafarers’ employment conditions. Ship masters are responsible for


Royal Institution of Naval Architects


environmental pollution, another problem the shipowning and managing sector will have to deal with this year is the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Vessel General Permit (VGP). This enters into force on December 19, 2013. The VGP applies to specific discharges, which are identified in the permit, that are incidental to the normal operation of a vessel and are discharged from non-recreational vessels of 79 ft, or greater, in length. The VGP incorporates the USCG’s mandatory ballast water management and exchange standards, adds additional ballast water management practices and provides effluent limits for other types of discharges including, deck run-off, bilge water, grey water and anti-fouling hull coatings. It also establishes specific corrective actions, inspection and monitoring requirements, as well as record keeping and reporting requirements.


Luboil leakages


At a presentation in London in July, luboil supplier Total Lubmarine warned that this rule will be a challenge to stern tube luboil leakages, which can remain undetected until the vessel’s next drydocking, possibly four or five years away.


According to the US EPA, one litre of mineral lubricants can pollute 1 million litres of seawater. Total said that given the fact that all machinery uses lubricants, the risk of spills and leaks is impossible to eliminate.


Under the VGP, all vessels constructed on or after December 19, 2013 must use an environmentally acceptable lubricant in all oil-to-sea interfaces. This also applies to all vessels built before this date, but not if it is unfeasible on technical grounds. Owners and managers will have to use compliant lubricants if they wish to trade with the USA, the lubricant supplier said. As with any other equipment and service


supplier, luboil providers must stay one step ahead of impending worldwide legislation, be it international or national, to avoid very expensive accidents or mistakes that could lead to huge fines and costly vessel off-hire periods. HLPFI


Please note, this article is intended for guidance only. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the contents, no responsibility will be accepted by the publishers for any errors.


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