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Monday, December 11, 2017

Athens Tanker Event – Doing business in today's regulatory environment

The focus of the afternoon session of the Tanker Event on 12 April was "Doingbusiness in today's regulatory environment". It was moderated by Andreas Chrysostomou, Chairman of the IMO's Marine and Environment Protection Committee.  

The session opened with a paper presented by Greg Linsin, Assistant Chief, Environmental Crimes Section of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The focus of this paper was to explain the policies of the DOJ when perusing crimes such as breaches of MARPOL and in particular what has become known as payments to witnesses termed "whistle blowers". It was emphasised that these payments have only been made on rare occasions and only based on situations where the defendant in question had deliberated falsified records or otherwise sought to pervert the course of justice. 

The second paper was presented by Bernardo Urrutia from the Directorate-General Energy and Transport (DG-TREN), European Commission. His paper focused on the policies of the Commission on issues such as criminal sanctions for ship-sourced pollution and the international oil spill liability and compensation regime.  

This paper was followed by an overview of the new composition of the European institutions by Ketil Djonne of ADS Insight. He also emphasised the changing political scene given the EU's expanded membership and drive to enhance business and commerce within the EU.  

The concluding part of the session was a double act by Colin de la Rue of Ince & Co and Jonathan Hare of Skuld P&I Club. The main themes addressed were the recent revision to the international oil spill liability and compensation regime and the draft European Union (EU) criminal sanctions directive. In both of these issues the benefits of the current international regimes were highlighted. These are two of the most important issues facing the tanker industry today.  

INTERTANKO is seeking to preserve an international oil spill liability and compensation that has some 86 member states, which has recently been substantially improved and is tried and tested as an effective compensation regime for the victims of oil spills. The Association is strongly opposed to criminalising accidental pollution and wishes international law to be upheld and any regional regulations to be in conformity with such universal provisions.  

Copies of the available presentations can be downloaded from the INTERTANKO web site at: http://www.intertanko.com/about/presentations/  

Contact: John Fawcett-Ellis