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Shipping industry guidance on the use of Oily Water Separators Ensuring compliance with MARPOL

Shipping industry guidance on the use of Oily Water Separators Ensuring compliance with MARPOL

The global shipping industry is committed to a zero tolerance approach
to any non-compliance with the International Convention for the
Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). In particular, the industry
is committed to strict adherence to International Maritime Organization
(IMO) requirements concerning the use of Oily Water Separators and the
monitoring and discharge of oil into the sea.
National maritime authorities with responsibility for the environmental
protection of their coastlines quite properly adopt a similarly strict
approach to the enforcement of MARPOL.
Companies and seafarers need to
understand that even the most
minor violations of MARPOL will
be detected by the authorities.
In addition to large fi nes
amounting to literally millions
of dollars, both company
management and seafarers can be
liable to criminal prosecution and
imprisonment for any deliberate
violation of MARPOL requirements
or falsifi cation of records.
The following industry guidelines
are intended to highlight some of
the issues concerning the use of
oily water separators (OWS) and
to remind company management,
and shipboard personnel, how
they can act to prevent MARPOL
Ship operators have ultimate responsibility for establishing a compliance
culture within their companies, and it is important that every effort is
made to ensure that seafarers do not engage in any illegal conduct in
the mistaken belief that it will benefi t their employer. Every seafarer
should be made fully aware of the severe legal consequences, both for the
company and the seafarers themselves, of even minor non-compliance with
environmental rules.
At fi rst glance, the following advice may appear to contain nothing new;
for the vast majority of shipping companies, these are issues which should
already be fully addressed by their Safety Management Systems, as required
by the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. Nevertheless, it is
strongly recommended that the following guidance is carefully analysed
by company management, and that a fi rm message of zero tolerance of
non-compliance with MARPOL is circulated as widely as possible amongst
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