Maritime Anti-Corruption Network Expands “Help Desk” Concept to Ukraine
The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) has expanded its anti-corruption ‘Help Desk’ concept to Ukraine’s ports and terminals. This development follows the successful implementation of similar Help Desks, operated in conjunction with local partners in Nigeria and Argentina.
The local Help Desk will support MACN member companies calling at ports and terminals when vessels and crew are faced with corrupt demands. The Help Desk will provide initial operational advice in relation to the situation, and provide a formal way of liaising with, and escalating cases to relevant local public authorities. MACN has entered into an agreement with local law firm ATTORNEY ASSOCIATION “ANK. MARITIME LAW PRACTICE”, to run this support function.
Cecilia Müller Torbrand, Executive Director of MACN said “The ‘Help Desk’ model has proven its effectiveness in Nigerian and Argentinian ports, and we believe there is great potential for a similar support structure in Ukraine. Fundamental to MACN’s collective action approach is that sustainable solutions to tackle corruption must be enabled by, supported by, and beneficial to key local stakeholders. Dialogue with stakeholders is, therefore, a critical part of MACN’s collective action projects. MACN’s local partners have played a key role in the engagement and dialogue with such key stakeholders. Our partnership with ANK aims to strengthen integrity in the ports and terminals of Ukraine by working with local and international stakeholders.”
MACN represents a large part of the maritime industry and keeps a close dialogue with its member companies to understand the challenges in the region. A recent survey conducted by MACN together with industry partners showed that Ukraine is perceived as a challenging country in the Black Sea region for port calls. Despite, Ukraine’s recent efforts to tackle corruption and enforce a new maritime regulatory framework, challenges remain and the consequences of rejecting illicit demands can include long delays of vessels and the threat of fines for alleged non-compliance.
Vivek Menon, Head of Collective Action and Partnerships (EMEA) at Maritime Anti-Corruption Network said “The primary objective of the Help Desk and the partnership with ANK is to make it easier for a ship’s Master to reject and ‘Say No’ to corrupt demands when calling Ukraine. There is a strong demand from the industry to work collectively to develop tools, and to share best practice and lessons learned on how to reject demands in Ukraine. There is also an interest from the maritime industry to work in partnership with local authorities to tackle corruption in the maritime and port sector.”
Additionally, in coordination with the MACN Secretariat, ANK will support in local communication efforts and awareness raising about MACN’s collective action initiative, carry out an integrity risk assessment of port-related challenges, and assist in developing relevant Integrity Tools.