INTERTANKO is advising caution over vessels' waste management procedures in Turkish territorial waters following reports of heavy fines for general operational discharges permissible under MARPOL. Turkish authorities are upholding their 1983 Environmental Act which prohibits the discharge of any waste from ships in Turkish territorial waters.

INTERTANKO is pursuing the matter further after it was revealed that the Act does not provide for any appeal against the fine nor does it take into account the extent of pollution caused by the discharge. A maximum fine of US$250,000 can be levied on the basis of ship size only, regardless of the type or quantity of pollutant and its resultant environmental damage. The source of the pollution appears not to be an issue for the penalising authority as agents are warning that any form of pollution seen near or around the vessel, regardless of source, is deemed reason enough to administer a fine. On this basis the request for an appeals process t be included in the Environmental Act would seem overdue.

The 1983 Environmental Act is currently being harmonised with the relevant European environmental legislation and is likely to be amended to take these concerns into account. However, INTERTANKO will pursue the issue with the relevant Turkish authorities. Members are requested to report any incidents relating to this matter to INTERTANKO.

Contact: Svein Ringbakken, e-mail:LegalandDocumentary@intertanko.com
Tim Wilkins, e-mail:tim.wilkins@intertanko.com