Transmarine Consultancy & Inspection (TCI) Ghana, are drawing the attention of all vessels going to Ghana to pay serious attention to MARPOL violation fines, as currently imposed by Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA).
ractically, a PSC (Port State Control) will be organized by GMA on a targeted vessel either in anchorage on the roads (outside the port) or in port. Any vessel can be targeted as there is no eligibility criteria. The PSC inspector will request to check the vessel for any violation of the Maritime Pollution Act 2016.
- Keep the entries in GRC (Garbage Record Book) in order.
- All receipts proving the legal discharge of garbage in previous ports should be available.
- The Garbage Management Plan should be displayed for all crew members to take note.
- The Oil Record Book (ORB) should also be in order.
- The scuppers on main deck should be plugged during the time the vessel is in port or outside in anchorage waiting for berthing prospects.
- During authorized bunkering, the vessel should make sure that the savealls around the manifold can keep any leakage from the hose.
- The sewage plant should be in good working condition.
- The effluent in the retention tank should be clear and without any suspected particle. If found slightly coloured and not CLEAR, the vessel will be fined for illegal discharge of sewage even though the discharge valve is duly locked and sealed. The vessel’s Chief Engineer should make sure the tank is cleaned properly.
- Concerning the transfer of oil (as far as bunkering is concerned), the Captain should seek for a written 48H permission from both the Harbour Master and GMA before doing such transfer.
Once the vessel is fined for any breach or violation of the Maritime Pollution Act 2016, it will not be easy to have the fine cancelled or reduced. GMA are generally strict in this regard.
The vessel can be stuck in the port or in anchorage outside the port as long as the fine is not paid. The only way to obtain the sailing of the vessel is the commitment either by the Agent or by the P&I Correspondent to pay the full amount of fine within 2 weeks.
This undertaking is signed at GMA office on their own dedicated forms. After the sailing of the vessel, failing to pay to GMA the amount of fine within 2 weeks will expose the person who signed the undertaking to court action.