The Cabinet of Ministers on Nov. 7, 2013 revised the Rules of protection of internal waters and territorial sea of Ukraine from pollution and contamination, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.

The government has decided to bring the Ukrainian Maritime Law in compliance with the International Maritime Law, cancelling the segregated ballast control (sea water intended for ballast required to preserve the strength and characteristics of sea-going vessels), and additional environmental checks of the ship.

The new revision cancels the Environmental Declaration which essentially duplicates the details of the vessel passport and is contrary to the 1965 International Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, which Ukraine joined. It clearly defines the list of documents that may be required by the State from the ship administration when a vessel calls at a port. There is no environmental declaration on this list.

Also, the procedure of control over segregated ballast management is greatly simplified. And the Water Code is amended to remove inconsistencies between the Ukrainian and international law of the sea.

Due to imperfections in the maritime legislation, incidents occurred in Ukrainian ports when by simply draining clean seawater constituted a violation, even though the waters of the port were not contaminated. 

The requirement for environmental impact assessment of segregated ballast in Ukrainian ports has nothing to do with the applicable rules of international maritime law, analysts say.

According to them, clean sea water is used solely as a mass and is not involved in the processes associated with a change in its chemical composition. It is for these reasons that, according to the International Maritime Convention, segregated ballast is not subject to additional environmental control.


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