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Ship scrapping - a few headlines

Ship breaking activity has been in the news a lot recently, chiefly for all the wrong reasons. Owners usually sell end-of-life ships under the pretense of further operation use to cash buyers who rename and reflag them before sending to scrap yards.

Some of the headline makers were:

  • In Mar’18 Rotterdam Court found an owner guilty of violating EU Waste Shipment Reg. Fines upto USD 924,000 were slapped and two senior figures were banned from working in a shipping company for a year.

  • In 2016 FPSO North sea producer was sold to cash buyers GMS via an anonymous post box company in Caribbean. After much hue and cry over safety and environmental hazards posed, in Oct’17 Supreme Ct of Bangladesh halted the demolition.

  • In Aug’18 a leading marine insurance provider received adverse publicity after its name was found on insurance certificates of a ship heading for illegal scrapping.

Some positive developments made:

  • EU Reg. 1257/2013 which prevents owners of EU flagged ships from recycling in yards not approved by EC, comes into force in Dec’18.

  • Indian yards are improving the ship breaking practices in the hope that their yards will be included in the EU list.

  • This year China has implemented a blanket ban on foreign ship scrapping.

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