Sweet Smoke, Just a Poke*
April 15, 2013 Leave a comment
The US Coast Guard will apply the “whistle-blower” procedure to US ECA low sulphur fuel compliance. Law firm Chalos O’Connor LLP has posted the following discussion paper on the Maritime CEO LinkedIn group.
In the paper Chalos O’Connor LLP discuss the implementation of the regulations for the North American Emissions Control Area, which came into being 1st August 2012. The regulations are being enforced by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Coast Guard. Both agencies are acting together to enforce the MARPOL Annex VI regulations through the US Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). This is the same act that governs the MARPOL Annex I (oil). Non-compliance can result in a corporate criminal fine for shipping company and management company up to $500,000. Crew members can be jailed and fined. The controversial part is that a “whistle-blower” can receive up to half the fine as a reward. This has been a big incentive for crew members to report non-compliance.
The new ECA regulations fall under the same regime, and the same processing, fines and rewards for whistle-blowers are available. Therefore, a ship which does not have low sulphur fuel, sails through the ECA and is inspected in a US port can expect fines and jail time. Even having low sulphur fuel on board is not guarantee of a clean inspection, as one ship in New Orleans recently found. The paper warns owners that they can expect every ship calling into a US port that has sailed into the US ECA to have fuel purchase records and fuel use logs scrutinised. The necessary documents will need to be up-to-date and complete, or the ship and the owner face a lengthy wait for a court date.
* An iconic hippy album