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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Swift prosecution for false entries in the ship’s Oil Record Book warns US Department of Justice

In the second case this summer where individuals have been prosecuted in the US District of Maine for lying about vessel pollution discharges, two chief engineers have pleaded guilty in the Federal Court for their role in concealing the overboard dumping of waste oil and for using false log books designed to deceive the US Coast Guard.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that the individuals face a potential maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, three years probation, and a USD 250,000 fine. And the investigation is continuing.

To conceal this activity, the individuals created a false record book that made it appear as if the discharges were made using the required pollution control equipment, when in fact they were not. An Oil Record Book is a pollution record required by MARPOL and US law that is regularly inspected by the US Coast Guard during inspections.

Since 2002 alone, 30 companies have been charged, pleaded or been sentenced, resulting in total fines of more than USD36 million.  Mr Uhlmann, head of the DOJ  has stated that companies that continue to violate these laws, who continue to falsify records, and who continue to come into US Ports with inoperable pollution, should be fearful of prosecution. 

INTERTANKO has just published  ‘A Guide for correct entries in the Oil Record Book (Part I - Machinery Space Operations)’ to address this increasing problems of ships being detained and fined in the US and aid management of ship oil-water separators in the engine room.

The INTERTANKO Guide contains:

  • instructions and interpretations on how to properly record all related operations as per MARPOL 73/78, Annex I, Regulation 20
  • list of operations to be recorded
  • frequently found errors or mistakes
  • detailed examples for all related operations

As the DOJ and US Coast Guard campaign continues, members are advised to take all precautions and to show due diligence when filling in the Oil Record Book.

The INTERTANKO Guide may also be used as a training tool for office and shipboard personnel ashore and on-board.

And it is a MUSTon-board every tanker.  Click here to view the Table of Contents

USD 50 (members) USD 100 (non-members). Special discounts for large orders. 

Download an order formand return by fax to our Oslo office at fax no:+47 22 12 26 41

Contact: Sally Woulfe