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The bunkering market is expecting a wave of increasing environmental responsibility
Material posted: Gornova Anna M.Publication date: 07-02-2018
Currently the state Duma is considering a bill, reinforcing environmental responsibility for companies operating in oil and oil products.

Legislative initiative No. 376543-7 "On amendments to the RF Code on administrative offences regarding strengthening of responsibility for violation of requirements of ecological safety when carrying out works in the sphere of subsoil use" was developed by Ministry of natural resources and ecology of Russia.


The stated purpose of the bill is the harmonization of regulation of relations in the sphere of prevention and liquidation of spills of oil and oil products. The bill establishes administrative responsibility for:

the absence of an approved plan of prevention and liquidation of spills of petroleum products or non-conformity, as well as the failure of the plan's measures;

the absence of a system of observations, communications and reporting for the environment in the area of business; the lack of acknowledgement of the funding of the plan's measures;

the lack of own or borrowed emergency services, forces and means of constant readiness intended for prevention and liquidation of spills of oil and oil products.


The right to draw up reports on violations on the land granted to the state bodies of environmental supervision (Rosprirodnadzor), the water - bodies of the Federal state transport supervision (Rostransnadzor).


Higher fines, tougher and also the responsibility for the failure in the period the legal provisions (decrees, submission, decision) of the authority or officials carrying out the state supervision and municipal control. In addition to increasing the penalties, in the industry community pay attention to a number of contradictions, which experts hope to discuss with members.


Will be able to survive with such laws medium and small companies - the big question. As not so long ago adopted amendments to the Federal law "On ports", this bill continues the trend of formation of legislation in favor of very large companies. On the one hand, Yes, the environment is a top priority and deal with the environmental disaster alone a small company can not afford, but in the case of failure in the company of forces and means for liquidation of emergency situations (including emergency and oil spill) there is a single state system of prevention and liquidation of emergency situations of the Russian Federation, allowing to cope with any emergency situation. The responsibility of a large company looks reliable. On the other hand, the last time in the sea, a new kind of terrorist threat on tankers. Perhaps even this aspect affects. But small businesses are not transported we have a super large oil tankers. Maybe for them it is possible to identify the sector of the market where there are no such threats and such devastating standards and requirements? Moreover, in the text of the bill States that not all cases of spills of oil and oil products belong to the emergencies and environmental disasters.


On the bill will work in 3 readings. Experts hope that the main contradictions and observations in the proposed wording could be corrected.


On what issues will discuss told Chairman of the Board of the self-regulating organization "Russian Association of Marine and River Bunker suppliers" Vladimir Sergeev:

- First, the bill contradicts the previously implemented legislative initiatives. In particular, recently, from the list of documents, all of which is necessary for obtaining a license for loading and unloading activities of dangerous goods and the carriage of dangerous goods by sea and on inland waterways (resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation of 06.03.2012 N 193] from 10.08.2016 "On licensing certain types of activities ...") was excluded OSR plans (plan of liquidation of floods of oil and oil products), as well as contrary to the country's administrative reform. The proposed bill dramatically, up to suspension of activity of the enterprise for 90 days and without any differentiation depending on the gravity of the offence and increasing responsibility of economic entities as for actual violations, and for possible deficiencies, and formal violations. For example, in part 1 of article 8.48. the bill provides for administrative liability for non-conformity of the approved oil spill response plan specified requirements and for failure to comply with the measures stipulated by the OSR plan. The question arises: why then have mandatory training exercises prior to the approval of the organization's oil spill response plan? After all, the purpose of these exercises is the verification of compliance of the approved oil spill response plan requirements, and also to assess the success of the measures stipulated by the OSR plan, the evaluation of the success of which, in accordance with the latest changes to the Federal law of 31.07.1998 N 155-FZ "On inland sea waters, territorial sea and contiguous zone of the Russian Federation" approved by the OSR plan of the organization. At the same time, law enforcement practice in this area controversial and is still in the process of formation. Consequently, there is no clear criteria and proper enforcement. Secondly, part 1 of article 8.48. the bill is formulated so that it provides for administrative responsibility for violation of requirements for prevention and liquidation of spills of oil and oil products regardless of the organization carries out activities related to the turnover of oil products at given time or not (!), which directly contradicts the basics of the current legislation. I am sure that the adoption of this bill could lead to massive corruption for the following reasons:

1. In current legislation there is no clear definition of and requirements for observing systems for state of the environment in the area of implementation. Including systems to detect spills of oil and oil products, as well as communication systems and notification of spills of oil and oil products. In this regard, it is impossible to speak about the compliance of these systems the requirements for which introduced administrative liability.

2. The method of calculation of financial provision of implementation of measures stipulated by the OSR plan, at present has not yet been adopted. It is being finalized taking into account comments of the Ministry of justice and industry associations. Thus, the current Method of calculating the amount of damage caused to water bodies by violations of water legislation (approved. by order of the Ministry of Russia dated 13 April 2009 n 87) that calculates the damage in the OSR plans, very imperfect and gives higher values of the damage. On average, a bunkering company in the estimated spill of 500 to 1,000 tonnes of fuel damage is 1 to 2 billion rubles, respectively. It is also important to bear in mind that this cash should be immediately withdrawn by the organization to cover the damage and so they must either be reserved, and consequently to freeze the Bank account of the organization or be provided by Bank guarantee or by insurance. In any case, this is a huge financial burden requiring legislative optimization.

3. In accordance with part 1 of article 8.48. of the bill a clause providing for administrative liability for the absence of its own and (or) attracted on a contractual basis rescue service (formation) does not take into account the actual prevailing very negative for the consumers of the service bearing of preparedness to deal with oil spill situation. From January 2015, the FBI "Marsaskala of Rosmorrechflot, set monopolistically high prices for the service and to date has not complied with the order of the FAS from 04.03.2016 on elimination of violations of existing antitrust legislation, namely, to fixation of monopolistically high prices for the service to keeping the readiness for spill prevention of abuse of its dominant position.

In addition, at present the cases as unjustified refusal of bunkering companies in the prolongation and conclusion of treaties and unilateral termination of the FBI "Marsaskala of Rosmorrechflot" under various pretexts of existing contracts. For example, under the pretext of disagreement of consumers with a fold increase relative to the recognized FAS monopolistically high prices on the own willingness, or lack of forces and means on the bearing of readiness on existing contracts, without the presence of which, in accordance with applicable law any activity of bunkering companies is prohibited.

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