The Rotterdam District Court sentenced, under EU Waste Shipment Regulation, the shipping company Seatrade for illegal export of vessels sent for scrapping on the beaches of South Asia. This was the first time a European shipping company was held criminally liable for having sold vessels for scrap to substandard shipbreaking yards in India and Bangladesh.
The parties that participate decided this initiative as ship recycling standards and transparency are insufficient. This causes bad practices which are not punished, and good practices that are not rewarded. Shipbreaking is often carried out with few safety controls, increasing the risk to health and safety.
A ship owner who has completed an IHM process for a vessel can achieve the vessel’s compliance to the Hong Kong Convention and the EU Ship Recycling regulations. However, this is only the first step to compliance, as the owner must ensure continuous conformity of the Inventory, says Rick Power, Senior Manager – IHM at Wilhelmsen.
835 large ocean-going commercial vessels were sold to the scrap yards through 2017, 543 of which were broken down on beaches of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan: amounting to 80,3% of all tonnage dismantled globally, according to data released by NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
Greece-based shipping company Diana Containerships Inc. announced that it has signed, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, a Memorandum of Agreement to sell the 2006-built vessel “New Jersey” for demolition, on an “as is where is” basis.
The Dutch Public Prosecutor is bringing criminal charges against Groningen-based Seatrade, for having sold vessels to scrap yards in countries “where current ship dismantling methods endanger the lives and health of workers and pollute the environment”. This is the first time Public Prosecutors are bringing criminal charges against a shipowner.
Hapag-Lloyd informed that it will recycle seven containerships, complying with environmental regulations, in certified shipyards. Namely, Hapag-Lloyd is currently having seven older container ships, with a capacity of 4,101 TEU, which are being recycled in Turkey and China. The respective shipyards are especially equipped and certified to recycle ships in an environmentally friendly manner.
In a bid to further boost Bangladeshi ship recycling industry, the parliament passed the Bangladesh Ship Recycling Bill 2018, keeping a provision of tougher punishment for violations of the law. Under the bill, owners are obliged to issue life insurance for all employees and be fully aligned with the relevant global laws and conventions,
The Norwegian Central Bank decided to exclude nine companies from the Government Pension Fund Global. In addition, one company has been placed under observation. The exclusion is based on the companies’ poor management of their end-of-life ships and the sale of these for dirty and dangerous shipbreaking.
Oil tanker shipping company ‘Frontline’, forecasts that shipping firms will scrap more old vessels in the following years, a development that may cause a recovery in rates for the remaining global fleet in the second half of 2018.
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