Massive increase in Turkish marine pollution fines
The Turkish authorities have updated the tariff of marine pollution fines. After the latest rise in January the fines have increased by 23.73%.
The fines imposed on vessels alleged to have polluted the marine environment has effectively been increased to more than 12 times of the amounts that were applicable last year, according to legal experts Ersoy Bilgehan. This as a result of two different updates of the fines from the Turkish government. The fines were increased due to the devaluation suffered by the Turkish Lira in order to maintain the fines’ deferring effect.
Increased vigilance of environmental authorities in enforcing these fines over the past few weeks has been observed despite criticism from owners and P&I clubs. The points of criticism are mainly based on two aspects: (i) the fines being excessive and (ii) the fines being calculated solely on the tonnage of the vessel and the severity of the pollution is not taken into account which results in a high-tonnage vessel causing only a minor grey-water discharge to be levied with a higher fine compared to a much smaller vessel that spilled a large amount of oil.
The current situation requires the exercise of extra care during vessels’ period of stay in Turkish ports and owners are advised to immediately consult their Club correspondents and experienced shipping lawyers when faced with allegations of pollution in order to ensure the swift handling of the procedures with the authorities.
For further reading and a comparative table showing the increase in the fines from legal expert Ersoy Bilgehan:
Further increase in marine pollution fines (Jan 2019)
This information was provided by legal expert M. Raci Alper, Senior Associate at Ersoy Bilgehan, Istanbul.
Member Alert is published by The Swedish Club as a service to members. While the information is believed correct, the Club cannot assume responsibility for completeness or accuracy.