Preventing Environmental Violations from Ships

Voluntary Environmental Compliance Program (VECP)

As part of our environmental management services, ECM has been providing companies with a Voluntary Environmental Compliance Program (VECP) option in recent years, which raises ship and shore Environmental Management System (EMS) standards above and beyond typical MARPOL compliance and establishes a third party audit role to review compliance aboard select vessels and shore offices.

This stems from the high rate of sentencing by US courts of shipping companies that have been charged with violations of MARPOL/APPS (the US’ Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships), often following allegations made by a whistleblower. In the vast majority of such cases, the company in question has been placed under an Environmental Compliance Program (ECP) which imposes a strict set of requirements for environmental compliance on the companies’ vessels, shore management and training establishment(s). ECM has served in numerous ECPs as the government appointed Third Party Auditor (TPA), External Audit Group (EAG) and/or Court Appointed Monitor (CAM) and we are very familiar with the requirements of such a program.

Our VECP guides you in adopting similar high standards on a voluntary basis, tailor-made to suit your operational parameters. It enables companies to set up an enhanced EMS which promotes increased levels of guidance, monitoring, recordkeeping and transparency.

With ECM’s VECP in place, including our external audit program, companies that encounter a violation aboard their operated vessels are in an excellent position to seek protection from prosecution, by complying with the U.S. Coast Guard Voluntary Disclosure Policy . Our VECP is also a reliable means of ensuring the highest level of compliance (Stage 4) with Element 10 of the Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA) standard, which is of significant benefit when seeking Oil Major approval.

We are pleased to announce that the ECM VECP has been adopted by multiple companies since its inception in 2012 and we continue working with them in order to ensure that the highest standards of environmental compliance are met. Our program is designed not only as a monitoring mechanism to provide the highest levels of environ-mental stewardship, but also to facilitate seeking protection under U.S. law if an alleged violation is reported.

We are currently in discussion with more companies about this service and look forward to including them among our growing list of VECP clients.

Please contact us for more information.

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