Shipping industry exploits loopholes in intl. law to break up ships in South Asia under dangerous conditions for workers & environment, finds report

Author: Public Eye, Published on: 6 February 2019

"Where ships go to die", January 2019

[I]n early September 2018, two men died while working at the RKB Group-owned Honey Ship Breaking yard... The same yard was used less than a year ago by the Swiss company MSC...

In addition to the safety problems on the sites, there are many essential points that should be improved or obtained:

“Housing. Toilets. Canteens. Correctly paid overtime. Paid holidays. Health and accident insurance for everyone. Adequate hospital capacity.” ...

[T]he Honey Ship Breaking Yard owner, promises that the family will receive about €6,250, an amount that corresponds to three years of work on the yard...

Once a ship is destined for dismantling, it is considered to be hazardous waste under international law...

[T]he shipping industry has exploited loopholes in the Basel Convention and opted for the more profitable breaking of ships on South Asian beaches...

At the European level [...] a new regulation on ship recycling has been adopted...

We therefore contacted MSC... The response from Geneva was brief: “Thank you for your interest in MSC’s environmental strategy. As of today, we decline to take part in your research.” ... 

We wanted to know specifically whether MSC could confirm that all these requirements are fulfilled by the yards in Alang used by that company... [T]he response..: “We hereby confirm that we are not able to satisfy your request.”

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Related companies: Mediterranean Shipping Company