Dutch ship-owner fined for beaching ship in India under conditions causing damage to environment & health

Author: Hellenic Shipping News, Published on: 23 January 2019

"Another Dutch ship owner faces huge fine for having beached a vessel", 21 January 2019

In 2013, Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II BV, a subsidiary of WEC Lines BV, sold the HMS Laurence to a cash buyer... The vessel ended up in Alang, India, where it was broken under conditions that “cause serious damage to the environment and expose the health of workers and the local population to grave danger”, according to the Dutch Public Prosecutor. Scrapping ships on tidal mudflats is not allowed in Europe, and the export of hazardous materials from the EU to developing countries is prohibited.

Following criminal investigations [...] the Dutch Public Prosecutor agreed to a settlement of 2.2 million EUR: the amount that Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II BV had earned by selling the ship to the beaching yard...

The Netherlands is taking a leading position on the cracking down on illegal trafficking of toxic ships. More investigations are also underway in other European countries...

“Both exporting and importing countries are starting to hold industry stakeholders accountable – it is high time to scrap the beaching method and replace it by proper recycling in facilities that can contain pollutants and ensure safe working conditions. Better methods exist and facilities that operate under higher standards have the capacity to take in more ships. An increased demand for sustainable practices will see more investments in yards that meet the standards of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation”, says Jenssen [Executive Director and Founder of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform].

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