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  • 2023 January 25 10:32

    Shipping company Veteran-Mortrans to have its financial and economic activities examined under court decision

    Image source: Veteran-Mortrans

    Veteran-Mortrans says this decision threatens the existence of the shipping industry

    On 12 January 2023, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Court of the Kamchatka Territory satisfied the claim of Kamchatka Transport Prosecutor’s Office to oblige shipping company Veteran-Mortrans LLC obtain the state environmental approval of its financial and economic activities in internal sea waters and territorial sea of the Russian Federation. According to the court decision (IAA PortNews has obtained a copy of it), the approval is to be obtained by 30 January 2023. The activities to be approved include handling of oil products involving operation of sea-going vessels Alisa and Hermes in the water area of the Kamchatka Territory. The company’s license for loading/unloading of dangerous goods is valid from 16 September 2013.

    The claim was supported by the Far East Department of Rosprirodnadzor.

    The claim of the Transport Prosecutor's Office and Rosprirodnadzor is based on the norm described by Article 34 of the Federal Law dated July 31, 1998 (155-FZ) “On internal sea waters, the territorial sea and the adjacent zone of the Russian Federation” and demanding “all types of economic and other activities in internal sea waters and the territorial to be carried out only if there is a positive conclusion of the state environmental review conducted at the expense of the user of the natural resources of internal sea waters and the territorial sea.”

    Veteran-Mortrans considers the requirement to be unnecessary, since the shipping company is not a recipient of natural resources. The company complies with the applicable transport legislation and requirements on handling of dangerous goods. The Company has an approved Oil and Oil Product Spill Prevention and Response Plan (OSP Plan) for its oil tanker fleet and emergency oil pollution emergency plans developed and approved by Russian Maritime Register of Shipping for each ship in operation - Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan/SOPEP foreseen by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, MARPOL 73/78). An important additional measure aimed at preventing and response to oil spills is compulsory insurance of shipowners' liability for damage caused to the environment and third parties, the company notes.

    “The reasons for this court decision in favor of the Transport Prosecutor's Office lie in the incorrect interpretation of the shipping process itself. A vessel on the water surface is not a "recipient of natural resources on a fee basis" which is confirmed by Article 11 of the Water Code,” comments the representative of Veteran-Mortrans adding that this decision threatens the existence of the shipping industry.

    “None of the shipping companies of Kamchatka have succeeded in obtaining of the environmental approval from Rosprirodnadzor yet,” said the company representative adding that the court decision is unenforceable. Veteran-Mortrans has been operating in the Far East for about two decades. It successfully implements the state defence order and participates in the Northern Deliveery programme.

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