Ships Service Providers - There is no free lunch.
In the world of internet communication it has never been easier for ship’s agents, owners, and fleet managers to seek out providers for port services. Ships have the task of selecting service contractors. However, when the mighty dollar is the deciding factor, often times the provider falters and ends up non-compliant with applicable laws. Fortunately, in the majority of developed countries there are strict controls in place to ensure proper tracking and disposal of ship’s waste.
Cruise ships produce a colossal amount of hazardous waste; bio hazardous medical waste, grey and black waste water, international food waste, industrial chemicals, batteries, and lubricating oils just to name a few. As a result of this waste production the majority of cruise ship companies have implemented systems for tracking and processing waste. A detailed log tracks weight and volume of consumable supplies brought aboard and the amount of waste discharged from the vessel.
On port days ship’s waste is discharged to a barge or vessel. It is the responsibility of the ships agent or representative to hire marine contractors with the proper certifications to handle and dispose of international waste. Regardless of inspections, auditing, and the role of the ship’s agent some marine service providers will continue to act in non-compliance due to the inability to inspect every job’s execution.
Specifically, the operation of substandard marine equipment by deficiently trained, or non-trained personnel, with inadequate insurance coverage exposes the ship owners to a slew of environmental liabilities.
Ship owners and agents have a legal duty to ensure all necessary insurance, certification, and compliance is in place for the ship service contractors they contract to transport and dispose of all ship’s waste. Ship waste products remain the property and responsibility of the ship until successfully removed from the marine transport vessel and properly disposed of.
In the event of an accident that causes environmental damage the ship owner is liable. The process of selecting a marine waste disposal contractor should include:
- Certification of disposal equipment
- Certified personnel
- Liability insurance: incident, loss of life, or environmental impact
Failure to comply can result in noncompliance penalties and/or environmental restitution. As the old saying goes There is no free lunch, you get what you pay for. This is especially true when selecting a contractor of any kind. The cheapest option is in all likelihood not the right choice.