Cookies on this site

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. By using our site you accept the terms of our Privacy Policy

Accept and close
Emergency Number +44 7932 113573
 
Menu
Newsknowledge
News and knowledge
 

News

Web Alert: Update on Marine Pollution Fines in Turkey in 2017

12 January 2017

Further to the club’s web alert back in April 2016 on the Turkish pollution fine rates for 2016, Members are advised that as of the 1st of January 2017 the updated rates will enter into force for 2017.

Pursuant to Article 20 of the Turkish Environmental Code no. 1983 (the Code), fines are imposed on vessels for causing pollution in Turkish waters through discharge of petroleum products, dirty ballast, garbage and sewage into the sea. The quantum of fines are determined by a tariff that is revised annually.

Below are the revised fines for the various pollutants and different vessel sizes (to be found at Article 20 of the Turkish Environmental Code 1983, law no. 2872).

Pollution caused by petroleum products by tankers:

  • vessels up to and including 1000 gross tons - TRY 84.91 per gross ton;
  • vessels between 1000 / 5000 gross tons -TRY 21.18 per gross ton - on top of the above amount;
  • vessels above 5000 gross tones – TRY 2.03 per gross ton - on top of the above amount.

Pollution caused by dirty ballast by tankers:

  • vessels up to and including 1000 gross tons - TRY 63.67 per gross ton;
  • vessels between 1000 / 5000 gross tons -TRY 12.70 per gross ton - on top of the above amount;
  • vessels above 5000 gross tones – TRY 2.03 per gross ton - on top of the above amount.

Pollution caused by petroleum products as well as dirty ballast water discharged into the sea by all ships:

  • vessels up to and including 1000 gross tons - TRY 42.44 per gross ton;
  • vessels between 1000 / 5000 gross tons -TRY 8.45 per gross ton - on top of the above amount;
  • vessels above 5000 gross tones – TRY 2.03 per gross ton - on top of the above amount

Pollution caused by discharging of garbage and sewage into the sea by all ships:

  • vessels up to and including 1000 gross tons - TRY 21.18 per gross ton;
  • vessels between 1000 / 5000 gross tons -TRY 4.18 per gross ton - on top of the above amount;
  • vessels above 5000 gross tones – TRY 0.79 per gross ton - on top of the above amount

As previously advised, it is worth noting that repeat offenders will be fined much heavier than the above amounts and could potentially face detention. For a first repeat offence within three years the fine will be doubled whereas for further second and further repeat offences the fine will be increased by 200%. Should a vessel be able to remove its own pollution, only a third of the above rates will be imposed.

It should also be noted that any authorities that detect a pollution incident are under an obligation to report same to the public prosecutor immediately. Subsequently, the public prosecutor will commence a criminal investigation which is usually followed by criminal proceedings brought against the master of the vessel.

Fines issued by Turkish authorities due to an alleged pollution must be paid or sufficient and suitable security must be put up immediately and in full otherwise the vessel will likely be arrested. If the fine is paid within 30 days, a 1/4 discount will be applicable.

Even though the Turkish Environmental Code specifically mentions P&I Club letters of undertaking (LOU) as an accepted form of security, practice has shown that Turkish authorities are reluctant to accept Club LOU’s. In order to overcome this, the Turkish Chamber of Shipping has been drafting a suitable standard wording to be used in club LOU’s and negotiating the same with the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. The aim is to establish a standard format for LOU’s to be issued by P&I Clubs in cases of alleged pollution and which would be accepted by all Turkish authorities. However, as the position is not yet clear, for the time being security should either be in cash or in the form of a bank letter of guarantee.

In the event of a pollution incident or even an alleged pollution incident in Turkish waters, Members are therefore best advised to immediately contact our local P&I correspondents for assistance. It is important to note that Turkish authorities do not need to substantiate their allegations and it is up to the vessel to prove its innocence, making pollution fines in Turkey very difficult to challenge.

However, should a fine be imposed, ship-owners have the right to appeal to the Administrative Court within 30 days of a fine being notified. Chances of successfully appealing are however rather low.

Due to such difficulties, Members are also advised to consider the below recommendations when anchored in or transiting Turkish waters:

  • avoid any ballasting or de ballasting operations;
  • avoid washing the deck or any outside structures or machinery;
  • avoid hose testing hatch covers;
  • avoid discharging of any sewage water from laundry rooms or bathrooms or disposal of garbage, cleaning agents etc;

Should members require any additional information they are encouraged to contact any of our Loss Prevention experts.

Thanks to Raci Alper and Melis Paulo Gucluer of ErsoyBilgehan for their input into this article.​