The Ukrainian Seaports Authority (USPA) has welcomed the approval by the government of the procedure for interaction with the State Environmental Inspectorate in cases of detection of discharge of pollutants by vessels within port waters.

The USPA announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

"The decision that the government adopted at a meeting on July 17, 2019, is a long-awaited step, it is in line with European practice, and it will facilitate introduction of civilized and transparent rules for monitoring environmental safety in the waters of Ukrainian seaports," the USPA’s head Raivis Veckagans said.

According to the USPA, the procedure for interaction between the USPA and the State Environmental Inspectorate in cases of detection of discharge of pollutants into port waters by vessels (floating facilities) clearly outlines the responsibilities of each of the participants in the process and establishes a clear protocol for them.

According to the document, the USPA will monitor port waters for pollution. If pollution is detected, the USPA will take samples of seawater in designated areas to confirm this and determine the concentration of pollutants. It will then invite the State Environmental Inspectorate to collect samples at the site of the pollution. Representatives of Ukraine’s State Environmental Inspectorate and the Maritime Administration have the right to board a vessel to take samples on it only after comparing the results of laboratory tests of both samples and recording a deterioration of water quality at the polluted site and if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the pollution was caused by the vessel.

According to Veckagans, the next step should be approval of the procedure for collecting samples and the method for calculating the environmental damage caused by the identified pollution.

As the CFTS reported, the procedure that the Cabinet of Ministers approved was developed by the State Regulatory Service of Ukraine in cooperation with the European Business Association and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.

Back in April, the prime minister of Ukraine signed the Cabinet of Ministers resolution No. 367 on deregulation of economic activity dated March 27, 2019. Among other things, this resolution abolishes control of ships’ segregated ballast and abolishes the need to coordinate the transshipment technology for each type of ship cargo in Ukrainian seaports with the State Environmental Inspectorate.

However, attempts by the State Environmental Inspectorate’s inspectors to inspect segregated ballast continued.