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Shipping co. convicted for sailing ships to scrap yards in So.Asia; where demolition endangers workers' lives & pollutes environment, according to Dutch court

Author: Reuters, Published on: 20 March 2018

"Dutch shippers sentenced for having ships demolished on Indian beach", 15 Mar 2018

The Dutch shipping company Seatrade and two of its directors were found guilty by a Dutch court...of illegally sailing ships to India to have them demolished...The company and the directors were fined up to 750,000 euros ($925,275).  The directors were also banned from executive roles at any shipping company for a year...The court said Seatrade had violated European Union rules by sending four ships to India for demolition in 2012.  The ships ultimately ended up on beaches in India, Bangladesh and Turkey, where their dismantling polluted the environment and endangered the lives of the workers involved.  “It is common knowledge that beaching a ship and demolishing it at the spot pollutes water and air, while untrained workers lack the expertise to deal with dangerous materials”, the court said.  “These practices cause multiple deaths each year.”...Hundreds of ships end up on the beaches of India and other countries in the region each year.  They are demolished by untrained workers who have no way to safely deal with the toxic waste the ships contain, like bunker fuels, acids and asbestos.  Rules adopted by the EU in 2013 mandate that ships registered in the EU must be recycled through approved facilities.  But the rules contain loopholes, and the South Asian yards continue to dismantle old ships...

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