The German competent authorities were alerted about the imminent illegal export of the ships from the port of Hamburg and prompted to take action to stop the vessels from departing. However, the 'Atlantic Cartier' arrived in Alang, India, on the 20th of September, and the 'Atlantic Conveyor' hit the beach on the 7 October.

"International waste laws and the EU Waste Shipment Regulation are usually circumvented by ship owners who falsely declare that end-of-life ships are in continued operational use when leaving a port, thereby concealing the fact that they are destined for scrapping and have, therefore, become a waste. The cases of the Cartier and the Conveyor are no exception," the Platform notes.

Namely, NGO claims that the German authorities but also authorities from Canada and the UK, countries through which the Cartier and the Conveyor sailed before arriving in Hamburg for their last EU port call, knew that the ships had been sold to the beach; yet, when questioned, ti was not revealed that the ships were sold for breaking.

"According to the German port authorities, there was no evidence base for the arrest of the vessels, even though the logos of both the Cartier and the Conveyor had been painted over before the final voyage. Moreover, it was well-known within the industry that these two sister ships would be sold for breaking in the summer, as ACL itself indicated that the ships would be scrapped on the cash-buyer GMS’ website last year."