The co-founder of the S&P Investment Risk Management Agency, investment risk advisor Nataliia Osadcha, shares her opinion on the actions of the State Ecological Inspection of Ukraine telling the Hubs about a case in the Yuzhny port and scandals with the delay of cargo in Ukrainian ports.
Recently representatives of business environment have discussed cases of illegal actions made by the State Eco Inspection. Despite the fact such situations are often proved by documents, official statements on these precedents in mass media appear extremely rarely
Last year our company faced a case of illegal actions by the State Environmental Inspectorate of the North-Western Black Sea Region against one of our clients. He was the owner of the cargo. In this case usage of the illegal scheme for arresting the ship with the cargo was realized by the above-mentioned government body. S & P Investment Risk Management Agency wrote a big article, commenting this conflict. We described details of state officials activity, explained how they substitute the terms and manage organize big number of reasons for detaining ships.
Not so long ago another incident of environmental inspections outrages was covered in newspapers. Studying documentation, we surprisingly found the traces of activity, provided by the State Ecological Inspection of the Black Sea North-Western region. The basis of the recent conflict, as the deputy director of the Odessa Port Plant Nikolai Shchurikov points out, is in the deliberate violation of the current legislation by environmentalists.
Having studied the facts and documents provided by Nikolai Shchurikov, we saw that officers with their illegal actions were involved in detaining ships at the port of Yuzhny. In this case 5 vessels, loaded with ammonia, were arrested, the owners had got losses in the total amount of about 424 thousand USD.
The question is – how do ecologists manage to create conditions for detaining ships? The answer is rather simple – they apply a flat scheme, which, in their opinion, hides all illegal actions. This scheme was used both in our case and in the next alike, though with some nuances, as there were different types of ship cargo. The environmental inspectorate replaces two completely different terms and using variety of reasons notifies violations of environmental legislation.
In our case an imaginary fact of contaminated ballast water release was shown. In the second case it was uncoordinated with the environmental inspection cargo loading. According to the current legislation, if environmental violations are found to be committed, environmentalists are required to draw up a protocol on the administrative violation and inflict penalty. But the environmental inspectorates apply their duties on their own way. Referring to the fact of administrative violation in our case, in the documents the inspectors stamped a note of not passing the environmental control. In the second case with ” Odessa Port Plant”, they refused to accept documents at all. In this case the vessel will not be able to pass custom control as there is a stamp of “Radiological control of import / export is not passed ” , as it was in our case, or as there was no ecological control passport as it was in the case of vessels with ammonia in the port of Yuzhny.
In our case, environmentalists stamped a seal, in fact, they stopped the ship on Thursday evening, the day before the weekend. It took us three days to improve the situation, but the total number of downtime days was five. The ship-owner got loss of $ 100,000 without losses of cargo owners. In the case of the port Yuzhny, the losses were much greater.
It is absolutely inappropriate that leaving ships with huge financial losses, the environmental inspectorate and top management any possible way deny violations, referring to the uncertainty of the current legislation. Inspectors, because of whom business loses hundred thousand dollars, continue working.
There are many similar cases with the State Ecological Inspection of Ukraine and publicity is given only to few of them. So, as long as environmental sustainability of business is not priority for environmentalists, such situations will take place.
The above mentioned situations show that in Ukraine business is not ready to defend its rights in legislative field. There are few consultants on the market who help companies to manage crisis situations legally.
However the last case gives us hope that business is starting to be formed, ready to declare its rights and act using only legal tools, make responsible those officials who break the rules. This is valuable both for society and for the state. Such companies form correct rules of interaction. Only after changing the existing rules of doing business we can say that large foreign investors come to Ukraine.
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