Posted on August 28, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The US Department of Justice has fined two Greek shipping companies a total of $3 million for a series of air pollution offences, including false recordkeeping, polluting & obstructing of justice.
The fines involve the Panama-flagged Oil Product Tanker, Ocean Princess. According to the US Department of Justice, the vessel was using fuel with a sulphur content that far exceeded the legal limit of 0.10%.
These violations occurred while the vessel was transporting fuel through the Caribbean ECA, during a series of transits that took place from January 2017 to July 2018.
Ionian Shipping & Trading Corp. the operator of the vessel and Lily Shipping, the owner, have each been fined $1.5 million respectively.
According to the USDJ, the Chief Officer & Chief Engineer both colluded in order to make transfers from the cargo tanks to the bunker tanks. Furthermore, the Chief Officer proceeded to falsify the Oil Records Book, by failing to record the transfer. They also proceeded to fabricate Bunker Delivery notes in an effort to avoid suspicion.
The US Coast Guard boarded the Ocean Princess on July 10th, 2019 and discovered upon inspection that the vessel had violated a number of pollution laws. According to the USDJ, the Chief Officer had instructed his crew members to lie as to the origin of the fuel on board the ship.
The two companies have been placed on a four-year probation and made to implement an Environmental Compliance Plan.
The vessel’s Chief Officer and Chief Engineer have both been sentenced to three years probation, given fines and were banned from entering the US on a ship.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic