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MARPOL: regulation versus safety culture

CHIRP receives two reports related to possible non-compliance with MARPOL, and advises the industry how to act in the 'true spirit' of the convention.…

In its latest issue, The Confidential Reporting Programme for Aviation and Maritime (CHIRP) has received two reports related to possible non-compliance with MARPOL from the shipping industry.

According to the reports, in one case an officer ordered a reluctant crew to throw oily waste and a broken washing machine overboard. The exact location is not known, but the crew were sufficiently concerned to involve authorities at the next port of call.

The other report involved the master and chief engineer being requested by the shore to dump damaged oil drums “at a distance of more than 20 miles from the shore”, with financial recompense; they declined.

“The Maritime Advisory Board commented that failure to observe MARPOL, or indeed other similar regulations, was likely to be indicative of the level of general management and safety standards on board vessels or within companies,” comments CHIRP director John Rose. If either is found to have deliberately violated MARPOL, then P&I Clubs will not cover associated costs.

"Acting in the true spirit of MARPOL regulation in order to reduce disposal overboard to an absolute minimum is a state of mind and shows a high level of safety and environmental maturity."

“Obeying MARPOL rules is one thing; and it is necessary,” Rose advises. “However, acting in the true spirit of MARPOL regulation in order to reduce disposal overboard to an absolute minimum (for instance by use of compactors or on board incineration) is a state of mind and shows a high level of safety and environmental maturity.

“This needs to come not only from on board management but also from the highest levels within management companies themselves. Most have environmental policies; are these words to which we turn blind eyes, or do we ensure that standards are met?”

To read the issue in full, please click here.

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MARPOL: regulation versus safety culture

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