Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

ICS welcomes US transparency on ECA penalties

ICS welcomes US transparency on ECA penalties
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has welcomed the transparency of the US Environment Protection Agency's (EPA) recent announcement on penalties for non-compliance within the North American and Caribbean Emissions Control Area (ECA).

While making it clear that it is not appropriate for ICS to comment on the level of the civil penalties, ICS secretary general Peter Hinchliffe told Seatrade Global, "We welcome that the level of US penalties will take account of the nature of the violation including the extent to which it is intentional and to which there is economic gain from the non-compliance."

Responding to a question on whether the penalties offer a better solution for shipping than the current, lower penalties in place in the North Sea ECA from EU member states, Hinchliffe said: "While it is for individual EU States to determine what they believe to be an appropriate penalty, consistent with their national law, there may be lessons to learn from the US with respect to discriminating between types of violation."

Previous experience of the US legal and shipping system led Hinchliffe to warn of the criminal repercussions for those looking to deceive the authorities. "In addition to the civil penalties that the EPA has announced, shipping companies that send false information could be liable to criminal prosecution. Providing false information to a Federal agency is a very serious offence which can attract multi-million dollar fines and potentially even prison. We have seen the outcome of various oily water separator cases over the years."