Accordingly, the Court decided on November 14 that the Producer was conducting illegal operations, violating national and international laws of the shipbreaking industry.
Therefore, the Court passed a number of directions on the government to regulate the sector in line with earlier rulings.
In light of the company’s illegal actions and lack of transparency in the sector, the Court issued authorities to
- subject cash buyers and agents to stricter scrutiny, including a detailed recording of their particulars, and to hold them accountable to the strictest sanctions;
- regulate the import of vessels registered under “last voyage” grey- or black-listed flags which are particularly popular with cash buyers, including Comoros, Palau and St. Kits and Nevis;
- ensure that no vessel is imported without proper verifiable pre-cleaning certificates and declarations of in-built hazardous wastes, and/or by yards that do not fully comply with the requirements for obtaining an Environmental Clearance.
Additionally, Syeda Rizwana Hasan - Supreme Court lawyer and Director of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, applauded the Court’s decision and commented that
The judgment is important in that it has expressly called the import, beaching and breaking permits illegal, and for the first time a breaker has been put off the breaking operation and the government has been given the steering. It is even more important because it has required the government to regulate the dubious roles of the cash buyers and restrict import from grey- and black-listed flag registries.
The case has been on the spotlight from 2017, when in August the Bangladesh Court issued an injunction on the ongoing breaking of the North Sea Producer based on the detection of radiation levels higher than permitted.
In the meantime, the Department of Environment has also been directed to claim compensation from the yard for having violated national environmental rules.
After winning the case on the illegal import and beaching of the North Sea Producer, owned by Danish A.P. Moeller Maersk and Brazilian Odebrecht, NGOs now urge the UK to hold the ship owners and cash buyer GMS accountable for the illegal export of the toxic.