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Ilyashev & Partners Protects the Interests of the Shipowner by Proving the Absence of the Event of an Administrative Offense in the Actions of the Captain of the Bulk Carrier New Challenge in Connection with the Pollution of the Harbor Waters of the Port of Mykolaiv

News date: 4 November 2020

The team of Odesa office of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm has successfully appealed the decision of the State Ecological Inspection of Ukraine on imposing an administrative penalty onto the captain (being the authorized representative of the shipowner) of m/v New Challenge for causing contamination of the harbor waters of Mykolayiv seaport as a result of the incident during the loading operations.

Zavodskyi district court of Mykolayiv, acting as the first instance administrative court, acceded to the legal position of the attorneys, which was based on demonstrating the essential discrepancy between the inspector’s conclusions provided in the disputed decision and factual circumstances of the case, and also on numerous procedural violations during the completion of the materials and consideration of the administrative offence case.

As a result, the court ruled out to reverse the unlawful decision of the inspector of the State Ecological Inspection and discontinue the proceeding on bringing the captain to administrative responsibility due to the absence of the event of the administrative offence in his actions. The decision of the court was not appealed and has come into legal force.

As a reminder, on 12 July 2020, when unloading a 12-ton forklift from m/v New Challenge, the forklift fell on the berth from a height of 4 meters due to a breakage of the rope on a ship’s crane hook, which resulted in a significant damage to the berth and a pipeline of the neighboring oil terminal. As a result, about 10 tons of sunflower oil spilled on the berth, some of which got into the port water area, which led to bringing the captain of New Challenge to the administrative liability for causing the environmental pollution, as well as to the claim against the shipowner for the compensation of over UAH 5 million. The total amount of claims against the vessel amounted to about UAH 13.5 million.

Appealing against the decision on imposing an administrative penalty onto the captain was one of the elements of the comprehensive strategy on the protection of the interests of the shipowner and the P&I club against the property claims advanced by the State Ecological Inspection.

Earlier, Ilyashev & Partners secured the acceptance by the State Ecological Inspection of Ukraine of the P&I club’s letter of undertaking as a sufficient and only security in respect of the maritime claim was lodged against shipowner – CHALLENGE SHIPPING LTD.