Environmental Protection at US Ports
The Merchant Shipping Directorate has recently issued a Shipping Notice dealing with ships entering US Ports. The Directorate is concerned about the number of ships apprehended at US Ports due to the lack of adherence to the protection of marine environment and fire safety regulations.
In its notice, the Directorate addresses Ship owners, Managers, Ship Operators, Masters, Owners’ Representatives and Recognised Organisations. The Directorate announced that it will be implementing new measures in order to comply with both national and international legislation. As a result, ships which are planning to call at any US port are to inform the Directorate before commencing its route to the US.
To this end, at least ninety six hours before arriving to a US port, ships are asked to submit to the National Vessel Movement Centre (NVMC) the Notice of Arrival and Departure (NOAD). A copy of such notice should also be sent to the Directorate. Furthermore, a ship’s ISM Managers and its Masters are conferred with the duty to submit the notification on time.
The Directorate also has the discretion to conduct a flag state inspection with the aim of ensuring that the ship in question is maintaining the necessary performance criteria relating to its operations and the environment. The Directorate is aware that such inspections may negatively affect a ship’s commercial activities, thus all those concerned should assist the inspectors in carrying out their analysis aboard the ship.
Finally, the Directorate stresses out the importance of cooperation in order to enhance compliance, protect the marine environment, and decrease the amount of pollution which is affecting our sea and consequently the ports of other states.