Another Container Ship Illegal Scrapping Costs Dutch Company Dear
Handy Shipping Guide | January 22, 2019
Dutch ship owner Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II BV (HMSB) has been fined €780,000 and paid a settlement of €2.2 million for having beached a container ship for scrapping in India, the amount that HMSB had earned by selling the ship to the beaching yard. Under the new legal regime, European Union flagged ships must be recycled only in safe and sound facilities included by the EU in the European List of ship recycling facilities. Beaching yards will not be accepted on the EU list as they fall short of the environmental and safety requirements that the Regulation sets. In 2013, Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II BV, a subsidiary of WEC Lines, sold the 946 TEU container ship HMS Laurence to a cash buyer, a company specialised in the trade of end-of-life vessels to beaching yards. The vessel ended up in Alang, India, where it was broken under conditions that ‘cause serious damage to the environment and expose the health of workers and the local population to grave danger’, according to the Dutch Public Prosecutor. Scrapping ships on tidal mudflats and beaches is not allowed in Europe, and the export of hazardous materials from the EU to developing countries is prohibited (EU flagged vessels are now exempt from the EU Waste Shipment Regulation that regulates the export of hazardous wastes, as they fall under the scope of the new EU Ship Recycling Regulation). In 2015, the captain of the HMS Laurence was sentenced by the Dutch Maritime Disciplinary Court to a six-month conditional suspension of his master’s navigation license. Beaching the vessel was in breach of the captain’s duty of care to the environment, according to the Disciplinary Court. This first suspension of a European ship master revealed that also the crew can be held liable for dirty and dangerous shipbreaking.