Ballast Water inspection problems in Ukraine
The Qita P&I club has been informed, of problems regarding
ballast water inspections by the local ecological inspectors.
According to informations, despite the new Ukrainian law
which cancelled the segregated ballast quality control on board ships, the
local ecological inspectors are still trying to go on board vessels and exact
bribes from the Master. The Immigration Service of Ukraine was given
special instructions to exclude the ecological inspectors from the list of
official bodies who carry out inward clearance of ships. Nevertheless,
the ecological inspectors are still trying to go on board and take samples of
ballast water by taking advantage of the Master’s lack of knowledge of
In the above circumstances, recommend Masters not to
follow the inspectors’ instructions and not to allow them to take any samples
of ballast water. Such inspection is allowed to be carried out only by the Port
State Control officers.
Ukrainian Ecologic regulation:
“On April 03 2015, there came into force Order 82 dd. 18.03.2015
(filing No. 343/26788) of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of
Ukraine “on introducing changes into some state ecological control
regulations”. By virtue of this Order chemical control of segregated ballast is
cancelled. The said Order is aimed at improvement of the ecological
control service activity and also it is intended to bring certain Ukrainian
normative and legal acts in conformity with the international law.
In 2 recent cases while both
vessels were loading grain at two private terminals – Nibulon and Nikaterra of
Nikolaev port, local ecological inspectors used fake arguments to claim that
both vessels had polluted the sea surface near the terminals.
In the first case, the inspectors declared that they
noticed oil spots near the vessel during de-ballasting operations. In the
second, the inspectors took samples and carried out tests of the sea water
surrounding the vessel before and after de-ballasting, and then declared there
was an excess of pollutants in the sea. The inspectors alleged that the ballast
had not been isolated on board and thus was subject to sampling and tests. As a
result of the tests, huge fines were imposed on the vessels.
In the first case the vessel left
port after the investigation and no claim has been lodged. In the second, the
vessel’s owners chose to pay a fine in order to avoid the potential arrest and
detention of the vessel.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
issued an Order No 953 dated 13th October 2015 has provided different
amendments to the ecological and radiological legislation. The main
amendments are as follows:
1. The ecological control will be carried out only in cases
when the visible swimmer particles are coming out from the vessel and
visible traces of the oil and other pollutants are on the sea surface
which resulted actual water deterioration in the area of waste
interception in comparison with the backgrounds in this area.
2. The radiological control of the vessels canceled.
3. The Orders comes into force after 30 days from the
Please also note that during recent period, the correspondent
was involved into the incident at Nikolaev Nikatera terminal when
authorities tried to blame the vessel for the alleged pollution, starting
criminal investigation against the Master in order to have access on board
for control ballast and other systems, checking log books etc, and
trying to prove that the vessel ballast is not isolated. The State
prosecutor and police investigator also as some ecologists tried to press
the vessel/ the Master.
It is recommendable for the Master to
contact the club in order to dispatch surveyors in case that Authorities,
police, ecologist or any other persons try to access onboard to prevent
delay/arrest the vessel and losses of the Owners/Club.