News 20 Jan, 2015

USA - EPA Penalty Policy for ECA Violations

Following the introduction of MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 14.4 regarding fuel standards to reduce sulphur emissions while operating in a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA), the new requirements entered into force on 1 January 2015.

In response to the above the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just published a Penalty Policy for Violations by Ships of the Sulfur in Fuel Standard and Related Provisions applicable to vessels operating in the North American and US Caribbean Sea Emission Control Areas.  The policy has been developed to calculate the civil penalties that the EPA will seek under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) in settlement of such cases. 

The policy is effective immediately and is based on two key components, namely “economic benefit” and “gravity”, both of which will be used to determine a “preliminary deterrence amount” which will be adjusted depending on a number of other factors including:

  • Degree of wilfulness or negligence
  • Degree of co-operation
  • History of non-compliance
  • Litigation risk and other unique factors
  • Ability to pay
  • Performance of a supplemental environmental project (SEP)

Although the APPS statutory maximum penalty is US$ 25,000 per violation per day, vessels burning non-compliant fuel may face additional penalties if it is found that they have also contravened other requirements of MARPOL Annex VI.

Members requiring further information should contact the Loss Prevention Department.