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Web Alert: Ukraine adopts new ballast water regulations

16 May 2019

For the past several months ships trading in Ukrainian ports have reported being unfairly detained on the basis that they failed ecological inspection.

Recent information from club correspondents reports that on 27 March 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Resolution No 367, which changes the ballast water regulations in ports of Ukraine. According to the resolution, segregated ballast waters on ships can be discharged in Ukrainian ports without any restriction and control from port authorities or other state bodies.

ANK Law Office, Odessa further advise that this regulation was adopted to bring to an end excessive administrative proceedings leading to unnecessary complication of commercial activities and bringing the bylaws into compliance with international conventions and Ukrainian laws.

Among other important issues, the procedure of detecting pollution was brought into compliance with MARPOL 73/78. The regulation established that the State Ecological Inspection is forbidden to execute control of the segregated ballast on the seagoing ships until the Government adopts the special procedure that should regulate the conducting of ballast water inspections, taking the samples and carrying out their analysis.

As of today, the Government, competent Ministries, Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority and merchant shipping experts believe this special procedure should finally settle the issues of segregated ballast control preventing the ports pollution.
According to the regulation, once the special procedure is adopted, the State Ecological Inspection will be entitled to check the level of ballast water pollution only in comparison with the background figures of the port’s area, which should be determined by the port’s administration. Previously, the inspection took the fixed pollution index as the basis for inspection (except the suspended matters), regardless of the actual pollution level at the port. As to the suspended matters, inspectors determined its background index by themselves, which could cause reasonable doubts of objectiveness.

Local correspondent Dias warns that ecologists may still attempt to sample segregated ballast and subsequently issuing huge penalties against the ship. Therefore, shipowners should be extra vigilant when discharging ballast water in the Ukrainian waters.