Web Alert: Update - Increase in problems with ecological inspectors in Ukrainian ports

News & Insights 17 July 2018


Some recommendations for the master in the event of an incident.

We would like to maintain members' awareness of the problems relating to so-called ecological inspectors in Ukraine. Recently we released a web alert on this topic which was withdrawn in response to a correction by the correspondent which issued the original alert.

This correspondent has now reported that there has been an upsurge in the number of requests for assistance from shipowners and P&I clubs relating to this problem. The correspondent has the following recommendations for the master:

  • Make sure that the ballast taken in other parts of the world is changed to the Black Sea waters during the ship’s passage to one of the Ukrainian ports.
  • Do not obstruct the Ecologists’ attendance on board.
  • However never allow the ecological inspectors to take samples of segregated ballast.
  • Permit the inspectors to study documentation on deballasting operations (if they ask for this).
  • Do make sure that they are not left alone during the inspection and get a ship’s representative to accompany them at all times.
  • Do not give bribes in the hope of escaping the fine.


Very often, ‘ecological inspectors’ use specific ruses to gain access to the ship's ballast tanks. These include taking photos and video recordings of the area around the ship. They then inform the master about oil/dirty spots on the water surface and claim that they need samples of the ship's ballast tanks to prove that the pollution was not caused by the vessel.

The correspondent advises masters to contact a P&I correspondent immediately and let the ecological inspectors know that a joint survey/visual observation of the sea water area around the ship together with Port State Control officer, Chief Officer and P&I surveyor will be arranged. They should assure them that if the joint visual inspection reveals traces of sea pollution they will be allowed to take samples of the ballast from the ship's tanks in the presence of a P&I surveyor.

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