Appeal Court Upholds Scrap-sale Jail Term for Vessel Owner

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An Appeal Court in the Norwegian city of Bergen, has confirmed the prison sentence for Norwegian ship owner, for aiding and abetting the attempt to export the ship Tide Carrier (Eide Carrier and Harrier) to Pakistan for scrapping, reports Safety4sea.

Shipowner sentenced for demolition

In November 2020, a 54-year-old Norwegian shipowner has been sentenced to six months in prison for providing assistance in the controversial demolition export of the ship Eide Carrier (later renamed Tide Carrier, Harrier). The shipowner was charged with complicity in waste exports in violation of the Pollution Control Act.

The Court had also ordered the confiscation of criminal dividends of NOK 2 million from Eide Marine Eidendom AS. Almost a year and a half later his prison sentence confirmed.

As reported, the Court concluded, in line with the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime’s (Økokrim), that the ship owner was aware that the Tide Carrier’s buyer was intending to scrap the vessel in South Asia, in violation of national and European waste rules.

According to the Appeal Court, having sold the vessel to a middle man and not directly to a beaching yard does not provide for exempting the ship owner from being held liable for having committed an environmental crime.

Regulation of hazardous wastes

It is crucial to note that transboundary movements of hazardous wastes are strictly regulated by Norwegian, European and international laws.

Illegal trade of toxic end-of-life ships are increasingly being investigated by enforcement authorities in several EU Member States, which have the obligation to prevent the export of hazardous wastes to non-OECD countries.

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform expects that more ship owners and intermediaries will be held accountable for the exploitation of vulnerable communities and the environment on the shipbreaking beaches of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and call upon the shipping industry to conduct human rights due diligence when managing their end-of-life fleet.

Ship recycling decision

In light of this incident, it is important to note that the decision to send a ship for recycling is most commonly based on its obsolescence, current freight rates, future market prospects and scrap prices. However, another consideration should be the complex regulatory landscape.

This means that shipowners need to consider several factors, and not just the value of the ship at the end of its life. However, this does not always happen, with such cases providing lessons learned. One such case is the Eide carrier.

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Source: Safety4sea

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