Compliance with US environmental rules is a “must” – BIMCO Declaration can help members


Lack of compliance with the US Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) continues to result in significant financial penalties for shipping companies and ships being barred from entering ports in the USA.

This lack of compliance is clear from a recent court case involving environmental pollution from a ship.

According to a recent news release from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), two foreign shipping companies have been sentenced to pay corporate penalties totaling USD 2.7 million after being convicted for obstructing justice, violating the APPS, tampering with witnesses and conspiracy in relation to incidents where a ship had been dumping oily wastes into the ocean for several months.

The two companies, the ship’s operator and its corporate owner, were placed on five years’ probation and barred from sending ships to US ports until the financial penalty had been satisfied. The vessel’s two top engineers were previously convicted and sentenced to serve prison sentences in connection with the environmental crimes.

BIMCO is committed to assisting its members in ensuring compliance with the rules in force in the US regarding environmental standards and oily water separators to avoid deliberate discharges of oil-contaminated waste and maintenance of inaccurate oil record books.

To support this development, BIMCO has prepared guidelines and a model declaration on seafarer’s compliance with environmental rules and regulations for members to use, among other things for ships trading to/from the USA. The model is specifically designed to help shipping companies to ensure that their employees acknowledge and comply with the company’s policy to meet environmental regulations. The guidelines and model declaration can be accessed by using the below link.

BIMCO’s Guide to Maritime Environmental & Efficiency Management, developed in partnership with maritime efficiency specialists Fathom, and supported by ClassNK, provides another resource to facilitate compliance with environmental regulations such as those in the USA and assists owners and operators in the development of an environmental and efficiency management system. The Guide is available to order online from Fathom.



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Christian Hoppe
in Copenhagen, DK


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