Financiers Turning the Tide on Shipbreaking Practices
The shipping industry has long been criticised by campaigners for allowing vessels to be broken up on beaches, endangering workers and polluting the sea and sand. Now, it is being called to account from a quarter that may have a bit more clout - its financial backers. Norway's $1 trillion Oil Fund, a leader in ethical investing, in February sold its stake in four firms because they scrap on the beach. Three of the firms excluded by Norway's fund - Taiwan's Evergreen Marine, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA) of Thailand - say they have been unfairly singled out.
Shippers Push to Undermine EU Ship Recycling Regulation
The EU member states’ experts on ship recycling met in Brussels to discuss the latest developments, six months ahead of the application of the 2013 Ship Recycling Regulation. With the recent decision by the Chinese government to stop the import of end-of-life ships for scrapping, the shipping industry is quick to lament that there will not be enough recycling capacity and that there will be too few options for them under the EU List of approved recycling facilities. The industry claims that the standard set by the EU must be lowered so that beaching yards can be approved.
NGOs Call Upon EU to Effectively Regulate Shipping Pollution
From dangerous emissions in ports to hazardous scrapping on South Asian beaches, European shipping companies pollute and put people’s health and lives at serious risk. In light of the ongoing European Shipping Week and the failure of the International Maritime Organisation to find solutions, environmental experts are ringing the alarm bell and calling upon European policy makers to urgently adopt policies that effectively target the environmental performance of shipping. “Every year approximately 50,000 people in the EU die prematurely because of air pollution from ships.
Tide Carrier Under Arrest in Norway
After having been informed by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and its member organisation Bellona that the Tide Carrier (now named HARRIER, aka EIDE CARRIER) had been sold for illegal, dirty and dangerous scrapping to a South Asian beaching facility, the Norwegian environmental authorities arrested the ship on Tuesday 5 April. The vessel is not allowed to leave Norway unless it is to sail to a ship recycling destination in line with international and European hazardous waste laws.
EU Sets Standards for Sustainable Ship Recycling
Today, the European Commission (EC) publishes technical guidance for ship recycling facilities that want to be approved under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. The European Union (EU) mirrors with this step the call by environmental and human rights NGOs for a relocation of ship recycling to platforms that can ensure sustainable practices. Facilities that intend to be listed as EU-approved will need to ensure safe working conditions, pollution control including proper downstream waste management and enforcement of international labor rights.
Banks Backs Responsible Ship Recycling Standards
Dutch banks ABN AMRO, ING Bank and NIBC, together with the Scandinavian DNB, announced that they are all introducing Responsible Ship Recycling Standards (RSRS) for their ship financing. The banks took the opportunity of making this announcement during the biannual industry gathering in order to raise awareness with the intention of including more banks into the initiative. The Norwegian fund, KLP, who in 2016 commissioned a report by the International Law and Policy Institute on shipbreaking, had also already taken a stance to reject beaching practices.
EC Financial Instrument to Facilitate Ship Recycling
The European Commission released its report on the viability of a financial incentive for sustainable ship recycling under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation this week. Whilst it acknowledges the benefits for clean and safe ship recycling such an incentive would bring, the European Commission has decided to wait with its introduction. NGOs urge the EU to take action now as it is well documented that ship owners will with ease be able to circumvent the EU Ship Recycling Regulation by simply swapping the flag of their vessel to that of a non-EU State.
Pakistani Shipbreaking Plot Sealed Off
Shipbreaking plot no. 54 in Gadani, Pakistan, was sealed off after a massive fire broke out on-board the ship ACES (IMO 8021830), said NGO Shipbreaking Platform. This is the same floating oil production tanker that blew up on 1 November last year – an explosion that caused the death of 31 workers and seriously injured at least another 58 workers. Fortunately, reports seem to indicate that no workers got caught in the flames of yesterday’s fire on the ACES. After having been left untouched and unbroken in the same yard since last year’s catastrophic explosion…
NGOs, Unions Denounce Certification Issued to PHP Yard by RINA
In October, the PHP Family (Peace Happiness and Prosperity) shipbreaking yard received a Statement of Compliance with the Hong Kong Convention by the Italian classification society RINA. Trade unions in Bangladesh, as well as the Platform’s member Bangladesh Institute for Labour Studies (BILS), are concerned that such a labelling sets a dangerous precedent for the further green-washing of the Chittagong beaching yards. Workers and the environment are not protected as long as ships are broken on the beach, and as long as fundamental labour rights and proper infrastructure are not secured.
Norway SWF Dumps 3 Shipping Firms
The Norwegian Central Bank has decided to exclude ship owners Evergreen Marine Corporation, Precious Shipping, Korea Line Corporation and Thorensen Thai Agencies from the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG). The exclusion is based on the companies’ poor management of their end-of-life ships and the sale of these for dirty and dangerous shipbreaking on the beaches of Gadani, Pakistan and Chittagong, Bangladesh. The Norwegian Council on Ethics directs the Norwegian Central Bank…
Shipbreaking Case Against Seatrade in Dutch Court
For the first time in Europe, Public Prosecutors are bringing criminal charges against a ship owner – Seatrade – for having sold vessels to scrap yards in countries “where current ship dismantling methods endanger the lives and health of workers and pollute the environment”. The case is being heard in a Rotterdam Court this week, and the Dutch Public Prosecutor calls for a hefty fine (2.35 mill EUR) and confiscation of the profits Seatrade made on the illegal sale of four ships, as well as a six month prison sentence for three of Seatrade’s top executives.
Germany and Greece: Worst Vessel Dumpers
As in 2016, Germany and Greece top the list of country dumpers in 2017, according to new data released today by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. German owners, including banks and ship funds, beached 50 vessels out of a total of 53 sold for demolition. Greek owners were responsible for the highest absolute number of ships sold to South Asian shipbreaking yards in 2017: 51 ships in total. Since the Platform’s first compilation of data in 2009, Greek shipping companies have unceasingly topped the list of owners that opt for dirty and dangerous shipbreaking.
Industy Supports EU's Call for Financial Incentive to Enhance Sustainable Recycling
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an own initiative opinion that calls on the European Commission to introduce an incentive that will “eliminate the abuses of irresponsible ship dismantling through a system which creates added value in an end-of-life ship”. SEA Europe, IndustriAll Europe and the NGO Shipbreaking Platform join the EESC in supporting an incentive that will make sure ships are recycled in a safe and environmentally sound manner. “European…
Italian Ship Owners Accused of Poor Shipbreaking Practices
Italian shipping companies Grimaldi Group, Ignazio Messina and Vittorio Bogazzi & Figli are facing strong criticism from the NGO Shipbreaking Platform for reported poor shipbreaking practices. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of 19 environmental, human rights and labor rights organizations working to end polluting and dangerous shipbreaking, denounced the companies, calling upon them to take action to ensure the sustainable recycling of their end-of-life fleet.