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NGO letter urges EU Council not to support Commission proposal on shipbreaking saying it will "legalize export of hazardous end-of-life ships to developing countries"

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Company response
17 October 2012

Mediterranean Shipping Company response

Author: Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

MSC has no special knowledge of this tragic accident. MSC was the bareboat charterer of the MSC Jessica until early June 2009 and until then stood in the shoes of the owner for the management of the vessel, but MSC was not the actual owner of the vessel. Therefore MSC is unable to comment on whether the actual owners of the MSC Jessica at the time she was beached for scrapping did or did not perform any decontamination that might be required of an owner after the vessel left MSC’s management and before a vessel is scrapped...We can only assume that some error or errors dealing with flammable liquids occurred during the demolition process leading to the awful tragedy in this case, about 2 months after the vessel left MSC’s service and management. We do not know and do not wish to speculate whether an error was made by the scrapping company or organisation, or by the workers themselves.

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9 October 2012

EU ship recycling proposal illegal, ministers told

Author: ENDS Europe

The draft regulation implementing the Hong Kong convention on ship recycling would breach EU obligations under international waste shipment rules, environment ministers have been told ahead of their 25 October meeting [in a letter from NGO Shipbreaking Platform]...[The proposal] will be discussed by environment ministers on 25 October. In a compromise text, the previous Danish presidency proposed that the draft regulation should apply two years after its publication rather than one year as proposed by the commission. But the council text, which is now in the hands of Cyprus, introduces some improvements compared with the commission's proposal. For example, the publication of a European list of recycling facilities would be brought forward.

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9 October 2012

Media Alert - EU Commission Attempts to Legalize Export of Toxic Ships to Developing Countries

Author: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

In a letter...environmental groups...denounced a proposal by the European Commission on ship recycling to legalize the export of hazardous end-of-life ships to developing countries..."This proposal will render European governments powerless in preventing exports of asbestos and PCB laden ships from being sent to developing countries and putting vulnerable workers at risk" [says Roberto Ferrigno of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform]...About 70% of all ships [that are broken down, undergo the process in] developing countries such as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan...where unscrupulous companies exploit minimal enforcement of environmental and safety rules to maximize profits...[resulting in a number of accidental deaths of workers]...[Furthermore,] toxic waste [exported from the EU to South Asia] sickens the workers and ravages the coastal ecosystems.

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Author: AFP

La Commission européenne a fait vendredi des propositions pour renforcer la législation sur le démantèlement des navires européens, afin qu'il se fasse dans le respect de l'environnement et de manière sûre pour les travailleurs...Le système proposé vise à accélérer la mise en oeuvre de la convention de Hong Kong pour un recyclage sûr et écologiquement responsable des navires, qui a été adoptée en 2009, mais dont la ratification et l'entrée en vigueur ne sont pas prévues avant plusieurs années...Plus de 1.000 grands navires âgés, tels que des navires-citernes ou des porte-conteneurs, sont recyclés chaque année dans le monde pour leur ferraille, mais beaucoup se retrouvent sur des plages de pays d'Asie du Sud, dans des installations qui ne répondent pas aux normes, selon la Commission.

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22 March 2012

NGO warns EU ship recycling proposal will not stop the dumping of toxic ships

Author: Ingvild Jenssen, NGO Shipbreaking Platform

A day before the European Commission presents its proposal for regulating the dismantling of toxic end-of-life ships, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform…reiterated its call on Europe to stop the unjust practice of dumping toxic ships on the poorest communities of South Asia and already identified important areas in the upcoming proposal that will need to be strengthened…The Platform is concerned that the proposal, which will be published tomorrow, will do little to reverse the current trend of unsafe beach breaking with no care for waste management in developing countries…

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