MACN-UkraineEmpowering the Private Sector to Reject, Report and Record Unethical Demands

Background and Rationale

Integrity challenges in ports are common and affect international and national private-sector stakeholders operating in Ukraine. Port authorities such as customs, port state control, and ecological control are the main government representatives engaged in practices involving unethical demands from vessels. Most of such unethical demands are requests for large cash payments. Rejecting such demands leads to heavy delays of the vessels and the threat of fines for alleged non-compliance. In recent years, Ukraine has made great efforts to tackle corruption on the regulatory and legislative side, especially on Ecological inspections. However, there are other challenges across various segments of the Ukrainian maritime sector that requires reforms to align Ukrainian maritime legislation and practices to EU and international standards.

MACN’s Strategy

  • Anti-Corruption HelpDesk empowers the maritime industry to resist and report corruption: The HelpDesk empowers the private sector to reject, report and record unethical demands and/or unethical and unfair outcomes from inspections. Such data provides MACN with knowledge about potential systemic challenges faced and helps to engage with government authorities. Having access to an effective grievance mechanism is key to improving accountability in the maritime sector and providing the private sector with an alternative to the business-as-usual scenario.
  • Data to drive regulatory reform: An effective reporting mechanism, like the HelpDesk, generates data. This data is an important building block to generate qualitative information on integrity challenges in the ports. It also enables evidence-based engagement with the government when discussing integrity gap assessments and potential reform recommendations of relevant maritime regulation and port operating procedures.
  • Supporting the next generation of seafarers: Ukraine is one of the largest seafaring nations in the world. Currently, national training institutions do not offer training or awareness programs for the challenges associated with integrity risks in the industry. Open-sourcing MACN’s training to Maritime Training Institutions will equip the Next Generation of Seafarers with the tools and knowledge to say no to integrity risks before they start or during their professional maritime careers. This will potentially enable a culture of integrity and will have a long-term impact across the industry.

Outcomes and Impact

  • Through intervention and legislative reform activities by local stakeholders, the Ukrainian Government amended relevant legislation around State Ecological Inspections. This was evident from the data collected during 2021 and early 2022, where no reports related to ecological control of vessels calling Ukrainian ports have been received.
  • Before February 2022, we witnessed great uptake of MACN’s HelpDesk and a high-resolution rate of the reported cases.
  • Since the dissolution of the grain deal in July 2023, more than 30 attacks on port infrastructure and merchant vessels have occurred, resulting in extensive damage that limits our prospects for short-term progress. However, MACN continues to collaborate and support its local partner ANK, engaging with ANTS, and other international and national entities. These efforts are focused on exploring the best approaches to support the modernization of the maritime sector, aligning it with international standards.

Latest MACN News from Ukraine


MACN Welcomes Yulia Klymenko at the Next Members Meeting

We are excited to announce that our second guest speaker to our next Members Meeting in Copenhagen is none other than Yulia Klymenko, Member of Parliament of Ukraine, First Deputy Head of the Transport & Infrastructure Committee at Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine!

MACN’s Local Partner

In 2020, MACN identified ATTORNEY ASSOCIATION “ANK. MARITIME LAW PRACTICE” as its local partner in Ukraine to support its Collective Action initiatives. MACN with ANK expanded its anti-corruption ‘HelpDesk’ concept to Ukraine’s ports and terminals. The local HelpDesk supports MACN member companies with operational advice when vessels and crew are faced with unethical demands and/or unethical or unfair outcomes from inspections.

ANK was established in 1996, recognized as one of the leading law firms in Ukraine specializing in Maritime and Shipping Law and advising key stakeholders in the maritime industry.

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MACN Ukraine Timeline

  • 2022

    • Since February 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to the closing of navigation at the North-Western region of the Black Sea, disrupting ports and terminals operations and therefore MACN has paused some of its activities, while continuing to monitor the situation closely. MACN will continue to pursue its activities in Ukraine with engagement from all local stakeholders
  • 2021

    • Funding received from DANIDA to further develop the collective action initiative
    • MACN engages with local stakeholders to understand the challenges and strengthen integrity commitments in ports. Increased use of the MACN Local HelpDesk. Some cases were addressed in Ukrainian courts serving as potential for future precedence
    • Engagement with the Maritime Transport Workers Trade Union of Ukraine (MTWTU) and National University “Odessa Maritime Academy” (OMA) and discussed considerations to the development of Integrity Training as a curriculum for Ukraine’s maritime sector
    • Updated Member Guides on Ecological, Customs and port State Control (PSC) inspections of vessels and advice on ballast water regulations
    • “White paper on Seaports Development – Challenges and potential solutions” in collaboration with the European Business Association (EBA)
    • Together with industry partners, submitted joint letters of proposals for consideration by the respective Ministries to align maritime legislation and practices to EU and international standards
  • 2020

    • ANK Law Office (ANK) was identified as local partner
    • MACN launched the local HelpDesk
  • 2019

    •  Mapping of local stakeholders in Ukraine
    • Risk assessment of corruption challenges in Ukrainian ports
    • Co-funding received from Lauritzen Foundation and Orient Fond to conduct a risk assessment, and to map the challenges in Ukraine, including guidance on key legislation affecting the maritime industry

Further information on our work in Ukraine can be found on our Ukraine member page. This requires a member log in.

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