A working group will meet in early February to discuss the necessary amendments to the legislation, with the participation of parliamentary deputies.

Reduction of the period for chemical analysis of segregated ballast water will not eradicate corruption during environmental inspection of ships in ports, the Federation of Transport Employers of Ukraine (FTEU) said in a letter sent to the Ministry of Environment, the Entrepreneurship Service, the Ministry of Infrastructure, and the Ministry of Justice.

As reported earlier, Minister of Ecology Ihor Shevchenko recently signed a draft order stating that the period of express analysis of a vessel’s ballast water and sewage may not exceed three hours from the moment a sample is taken to the to the time the vessel’s captain is officially informed about the results of the analysis. The order still requires approval by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Justice before it goes into effect.

According to the federation, the proposed draft order violates the norms of MARPOL 73/78 and the existing decisions of the Entrepreneurship Service. "In the document, segregated ballast water is again being mistakenly equated with waters containing pollutants, which are subject to chemical control," the federation said, adding that the document will legalize the illegal right of the ecological inspectorates to take samples of segregated ballast water for chemical analysis.

"The issue is not about the periods of analysis, it is the fact that, the MARPOL 73/78 convention ratified by Ukraine stipulates that segregated ballast water is not subject to chemical control, full stop,” the federation said.

According to the federation, the authors of the draft order could include people "who are doing everything possible to preserve this corrupt scheme."

According to the letter, the federation’s head Orest Klympush recently met with the Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Committee’s Chairman Yehor Sobolev to discuss this issue. A meeting of the working group is planned for early February with the participation of members of this committee, as well as the committee on transport and communications and committee on environmental policy to consider environmental control of vessels at ports.

The federation also called on the Entrepreneurship Service, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Infrastructure not to support the Environment Ministry’s draft order.