Executive Briefings

Shipping Lines Fined $10m Fine After Bypassing Pollution Controls

Two shipping firms based in Germany and Cyprus have pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice charges and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS, 33 U.S.C. §§1905-1915) related to the deliberate concealment of vessel pollution from four ships that visited ports in New Jersey, Delaware and Northern California.

APPS applies to all American flagged ships worldwide plus any foreign flagged ships plying U.S. waters.

According to a multi-district plea agreement arising out of charges brought in the District of New Jersey and District of Delaware, German firm Columbia Ship Management (Deutschland), and Cypriot company Columbia Ship Management Ltd. have agreed to pay a $10.4m penalty, of which $2.6m will be used to address environmental damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, and be placed on probation for four years. During probation, the companies will be subject to the terms of an environmental compliance programme that requires outside audits by an independent company and oversight by a court appointed monitor.

The shipping firms admitted that four of their ships (three oil tankers and one container ship) had intentionally bypassed required pollution prevention equipment and falsified the oil record book, a required log regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard. The case is the largest vessel pollution settlement in either New Jersey or Delaware.

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APPS applies to all American flagged ships worldwide plus any foreign flagged ships plying U.S. waters.

According to a multi-district plea agreement arising out of charges brought in the District of New Jersey and District of Delaware, German firm Columbia Ship Management (Deutschland), and Cypriot company Columbia Ship Management Ltd. have agreed to pay a $10.4m penalty, of which $2.6m will be used to address environmental damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, and be placed on probation for four years. During probation, the companies will be subject to the terms of an environmental compliance programme that requires outside audits by an independent company and oversight by a court appointed monitor.

The shipping firms admitted that four of their ships (three oil tankers and one container ship) had intentionally bypassed required pollution prevention equipment and falsified the oil record book, a required log regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard. The case is the largest vessel pollution settlement in either New Jersey or Delaware.

Read Full Article