Environmental Pollution Fines by Turkey

26 January 2017 |  C17003

The Government of Turkey has announced new fines associated with environmental pollution in force from January 1, 2017.

Ship Owners / Managers / Operators  |  Flag Administrations  |  Surveyors

In Turkish waters, environmental protection is developing and significant fines are applicable to vessels that violate Turkish anti-pollution regulations in accordance with the Turkish Environmental Code.  The administrative fines are imposed in accordance with the Turkish Environmental Code 1983, Law no. 2872.

Article 8 of the Turkish Environmental Code describes the pollution prohibition as follows: “It is prohibited, to introduce into, store in, transport to or remove from the receptor area any discharge or waste in such a way as to inflict damage on the environment or in a way directly or indirectly in contradiction with the standards and methods specified in the applicable regulations, or to engage in similar activities.”

Rates of fines

The fines are imposed according to gross tonnage and type of the vessels as shown on the table below*.

Pollution from petroleum tankers and derivatives
Up to 1,000 GT 84.91 TL per GT
Between 1,001 – 5,000 GT Additional 21.18 TL per GT
Over 5,000 GT Additional 2.03 TL per GT
Dirty ballast discharged to sea by tankers
Up to 1,000 GT 63.67 TL per GT
Between 1,001 – 5000 GT Additional 12.70 TL per GT
Over 5,001 GT Additional 2.03 TL per GT
Pollution from ships and other sea vessels that release petroleum derivatives
Up to 1,000 GT 42.44 TL per GT
Between 1,001 – 5,000 GT Additional 8.45 TL per GT
Over 5,001 GT Additional 2.03 TL per GT
Garbage and sewage discharged to sea by vessels or any other sea vehicles
Up to 1,000 GT 21.18 TL per GT
Between 1,001 – 5,000 GT Additional 4.18 TL per GT
Over 5,000 GT Additional 0.79 TL per GT

As per article 23 of the Environment Code, in case the acts, which necessitated administrative fines to be imposed, are repeated within three years period from the date of such acts, the administrative fine shall be doubled for the first repeat and it shall be tripled for the second and following repeats.

Shipowners may appeal to the Administrative Court within 30 calendar days from the fine notification date, although, appealing the fine decision will not result in the lifting of the arrest order of the fined vessels. Generally there are very low prospects of success in the appeal proceedings. Any video footage, pictures taken by environmental officers, coast guards etc. can only be released by a court order.

Shipowners are recommended to affect payment of the fine amount less 25% so that the vessel would be able sail without any delay. Remitting the fine amount will not be considered as an admission of liability and the Owners may still appeal the fine decision.

Act now

Ship Owners / Managers / Operators must ensure that have implemented necessary measures to avoid these fines. Such measures may be:

  • De-ballasting operations should be avoided unless the ballast water was checked and confirmed to be clean.
  • All overboard discharge valves should be closed and secured/sealed in closed position.
  • All deck scuppers should be plugged and any gaps in the fish plate surrounding the deck should be closed.
  • Hose test of hatch covers, hydrostatic test of deck pipes/hoses or other equipment should not be performed.
  • Washing of decks and superstructure should be avoided.
  • Treated water from the sewage system and grey water should be transferred to a holding tank and should not be discharged until the vessel is outside Turkish waters.
  • Cargo residues, cargo space cleaning residues, all garbage and other substances should not be disposed in Turkish waters.
  • The vessel’s hull should not be scrapped, chipped or painted while alongside the pier or at anchor.
  • While the vessel is at the shipyard or in dry dock, even if the pollution is caused by the negligence of the shipyard, its employees or agents, the ship may be held vicariously liable for the pollution fine. Therefore the crew members should exercise care and they should immediately protest in writing to the shipyard where they believe pollution took place.

*Fine amount will double for a repeated offender and triple on subsequent recurrences of pollution by the same vessel within three years. In the event any hazardous substances and waste are disposed to the sea, the fine will be calculated ten (10) times of the amount calculated as per the category of Petrol and Petroleum Products fines.

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