The Second Circuit Court of Appeals confirms US jurisdiction to criminally prosecute ship operators for crew violations of MARPOL.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has joined the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in confirming that shipowners and operators may be criminally prosecuted and held vicariously liable for entering US waters with false entries in the Oil Record Book (ORB) designed to hide discharges of waste oil in violation of MARPOL.   On 20th January 2009 a three-judge panel ruled in the case United States v. Ionia Management1 that the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), the US version of the MARPOL Convention, “imposes a positive duty on the subject ships to ensure that their oil record books are accurate (or at least not knowingly inaccurate) upon entering the ports or navigable waters of the United States”.

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