Authorities in Ghana have been recently issuing fines, based on unjustified allegations that ships calling at the country’s ports have discharged untreated sewage, reports by the Standard P&I Club reveal.
Under MARPOL regulations, ships cannot discharge sewage into the sea, unless crews have used an approved system to disinfected it, at a distance of more than three nautical miles from the nearest land.
However, under the new potential new claims trend in Ghana, the local authorities have issued fines based on unjustified allegations.
In addition, they have not accepted security and have required payment in full to prevent the ships from being detained.
Local correspondents advise that it is difficult to dispute these fines once imposed and that the chances of successfully appealing them are slim,
…the Club advised.
With this in mind, operators should ensure that sewage treatment systems are functioning properly before arrival at ports in Ghana.
If they become aware of a potential fine, they should initiate discussions with local authorities as soon as possible.
This will assist with mitigation of any claim before imposition of a formal fine.