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Regulatory enforcement and whistle-blowers raise compliance stakes for vessel owners and managers

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Vessel owners and operators must comply with a range of regulatory requirements that shift and grow over time. Port state authorities have intensified inspection protocols. Penalty assessments are on the rise, particularly with respect to MARPOL violations, ballast water management, and low sulfur fuel oil requirements. To further complicate matters, recent precedents have incentivized whistle-blowers.


For decades, we’ve supported our shipping partners with compliance planning and emergency response services. We’ve expanded our capabilities to help vessel owners and operators address increased regulatory demands. Our technical specialists provide succinct guidance and serve as a liaison with regulatory officials to minimize commercial impacts. We provide more than 100 shipboard audits each year, as well as pre-inspection attendance and inspection assistance to help resolve deficiencies before, during, or after port state control exams.


Our vessel attendance and audit services have helped our clients successfully manage these complex and increased compliance challenges. This is a particularly valuable service for operators with vessels infrequently calling the US, or for new Masters who have not previously called the US. Our guidance, intervention, and advocacy have resulted in the savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars in demurrage and penalty costs for our customers. We’ve helped operators negotiate voluntary disclosure of MARPOL violations with the US Coast Guard, avoiding potential escalation to the Department of Justice. We take pride in assisting vessels to minimize or avoid deficiencies and non-conformities altogether but have also been instrumental in helping resolve identified deficiencies expeditiously.

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