Authorities in Germany have imposed a record fine to a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker for breaching an open-loop scrubber ban in the Port of Hamburg. On November 18, 2019, local water police conducted a routine check of an unnamed vessel and determined environmental breaches.
As a result, the ship has received a fine of EUR 50,000 (about USD 55,400) by the Department of Environment and Energy. As informed, officers found that the vessel was equipped with an open-loop scrubber. Such systems use sea water as the process fluid and discharge the treated water overboard.
Under the relevant CDNI convention, the discharge of wash water from a scrubber into the river Elbe and in the Port of Hamburg is strictly prohibited. Ships equipped with open-loop scrubbers are required to timely switch to low sulphur fuel oil. It is only possible to dispose of closed-loop wash water and solid scrubber waste for a fee at the port reception facilities in Hamburg. Despite this prohibition, the ship already discharged 2,300 tons in the port water at the time of the inspection. A 43-year-old Philippine Chief Officer is held responsible for the incident.