In recent years we have seen a significant shift in Coast Guard regulatory activities from physical inspection toward active law enforcement. The Coast Guard has been mightily struggling to maintain or improve the quality of physical inspection of vessels to insure compliance with the standards of Titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It now appears the emphasis will go even more heavily toward law enforcement. New Garbage Regulations seem to make it clear that failing to properly categorize and log garbage discharges underway and ashore can lead to criminal charges if willful.
Regular inspectors, will no doubt remain with limited knowledge of the law and regulations. Be advised that they do not reflect the professional knowledge (in this case legal) of Coast Guard enforcement personnel once they detect a potential violation.
Federal Law and Coast Guard regulations concerning the MARPOL include criminal provisions for sending mariners to prison even when no oil or garbage is proven to be discharged into the water. The government can imprison mariners for failing to fill out the paperwork properly, and has concerning Oil Record Books.
More and more the Coast Guard is moving toward court action as a way to solve regulatory issues. They have been quite successful in doing this concerning the Oil Record Book and it appears now that will do the same thing regarding Garbage disposal.
To protect companies and their personnel Safety Management Systems (SMS) must be simplified and higher quality training needs to be provided. This would be done so that the Coast Guard and other enforcement personnel would not after only a cursory examination of company and vessel records have what the government could believe is a criminal violation.
Some of this is obvious: A better quality and simpler SMS, better and more focused SMS training, advising maritime and shore support personnel how to best protect themselves and their company during and after an enforcement incident.
Some of the things to look at within your company are things that the Havnen Group can provide support resources concerning:
Quality (ISO 9000) and Safety Management Systems (SMS, ISM, etc) can be terrible task masters and can require the generation of excessive and in some cases unnecessary paperwork. We are experts in analyzing, developing, and streamlining all manner of ISO, Quality and Safety Management System. While it is always a matter of say it, do it and prove it. The less said, the less done and the less proven the more efficient the system and the less resources expended detracting from other missions.
At a time when corporate efficiency is paramount and the demand for outside support is soaring, the Havnen Group has established an impressive reputation in the regional and national maritime industry.
The Havnen Group is a full service maritime consulting firm specializing in engineering and regulatory compliance issues. Compliance issues can cause operational problems if not attended to with promptness and proper focus. Today these issues are considered:
Q – Quality
H – Heath
S – Safety
S – Security
E – Environmental
We have all learned that these issues are extremely important to every company’s day to day and long term operations and well being. The Havnen Group has the experience, focus, and talent to assist your company in complying with all form of governmental and/or competitive requirements. The Havnen Group can be ancillary to your management system and provide solutions as if we were your employees.