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Cabinet of Ministers approved procedure of interaction between ASPU and ecologists in ports

17 July 2019, 13:40

Cabinet of Ministers approved procedure of interaction between ASPU and ecologists in ports

Sampling on ships will be carried out only in the case of confirmed pollution of the water area. Photo: kmu.gov.ua

A new Procedure of interaction between the state environmental bodies in ports was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers at the session on Wednesday. The procedure provides for a clear algorithm of actions for the SE “Administration of Sea Ports of Ukraine” (ASPU), the State Ecological Inspectorate and the Administration in the sphere of ecological check-ups of ships in ports and it is aimed at reducing risks of corruption on this issue, Volodymyr Omelian, Minister of Infrastructure, said.

“Pursuant to the Law of Ukraine on a single customs window, the Government has just approved the Procedure of interaction between the ASPU and the Ministry of Ecology, as amended by the Ministry of Infrastructure, in the event when ship pollutant discharge within the sea port water area is detected. The said procedure clearly distinguishes the sphere of responsibility for each of the participants and sets a clear algorithm of actions for everyone”, the Minister wrote in his Facebook.

According to Mr. V. Omelian, the functions of ASPU, whose area of responsibility is the water area of sea ports, includes the monitoring of their condition and control of pollutants discharge. In the event that pollution of water area is detected and in order to confirm this fact, the ASPU calls the ecological inspectorate for the purpose of sampling in the area of pollution. And only after the laboratory confirms the fact of pollution and when the confirmed evidence is available to prove that the pollution has occurred from the ship, the ecological inspectorate, together with representatives of the Maritime administration, have the right to come aboard for the purpose of sampling on board of the ship.

“By doing so, we stop any possible malpractice, restore trust and introduce effective control. It is important that this document has a full support of business and profile associations”, the Minister stressed.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi has suggested a two-month suspension  for ship checks in the sea ports of Ukraine by the employees of the State ecological inspectorate, until the newly-elected Parliament starts passing the required laws in order to settle the problem. “I understand, normal ideas, let us consider them, there will be a new Parliament which will pass these laws, all the environmental laws and so on, but for the time being a normal decision, law-enforcement bodies will help us in this situation, and you could pro tempore forbid the entry. We have a two-month time, I think, nobody will suffer losses during these two months ”, Zelenskyi said at the meeting dedicated to development of the Ukrainian sea ports, held in Odesa on Saturday.

In April 2019, Prime-Minister Volodymyr Groisman signed the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 367 dated 27 March 2019 “On some deregulations issues of business activity”. The decree, among other things, cancels control of isolated ballast and coordination of reloading technology for each kind of cargo with the State Ecological Inspectorate, and the procedure of detection of ship pollutant discharge was brought in line with the requirements of the Convention MARPOL 73/78. Besides that, the decree establishes that water checks on ships shall not be carried out by the State Ecological Inspectorate until the procedure for running checks, sampling and analyses comes into force.

“The Government decision, passed with support of the Prime-Minister Volodymyr Groisman, will not only settle one of the most problematic issues in the relations between business and the State Ecological Inspectorate, but will also bring the rules of work in the Ukrainian ports in line with the international conventions that Ukraine became earlier party of. I thank the Government for a balanced approach to a further deregulation and enhancement of the investment appeal of our ports”, Raivis Vetskagans, Acting Head commented the event.

Despite that, for the last few months the elological inspectors activized checks of ballast waters. Thus, the administration of the sea port “Chornomorsk” with Olexandr Tsymbaliuk, harbour master, appointed by the Maritime Administration, at the head, with  effect from Sunday evening, prohibits the departure from port to the ship Clipper Polaris (the flag of Panama) on demand of the State Ecological Inspectorate of the Crimea-Black Sea constituency (of the State Ecological Inspectorate.)

Last week, the harbor master of the Mykolaiiv Sea Port provided against departure of the ship Harvest Moon from the port, based on the claims by the State Ecological Inspectorate. And a week before, the acting harbor master of “Pivdennyi” port, appointed by the Maritime Administration, provided against departure of the ship Anangel Happiness (the flag of Greece), based on the claims by the State Ecological Administration.

In June 2019, the employees of the State Ecological Inspectorate, without waiting for a court ruling, demanded payment of loss in the size of $21,7k from the owner of the ship Dionysus (the flag of Liberia), supposedly for pollution of the water area of the Odesa sea port resulting from the ballast water pumping out.

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