Norway: Attempted illegal ship export to Pakistan stopped

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Stranded ship (© LN Kyv/The NCA)

Brussels/Oslo — NGO Shipbreaking Platform had been informed that the „Tide Carrier“ (now named „Harrier“, also known as „Eide Carrier“) was sold for scrapping to a South Asian beaching facility. The briefed Norwegian environmental authorities arrested the ship yesterday. 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. According to the Norwegian Environment Agency, it is the first arrest of a vessel in Norway for the illegal export of hazardous waste.

The Platform had been informed already during the summer of 2015 that the ship was sold for scrap. Eide Group denied then that the vessel would be scrapped. On 22 February 2017 the vessel attempted to leave Norway under a new name, flag and registered owner. Now called „Tide Carrier“, the ship had swapped its flag to that of Comoros and was registered under an anonymous St. Kitts and Nevis based post-box company: Julia Shipping. The Platform interprets that a cash buyer, a scrap dealer specialised in the trading of end-of-life ships to the South Asian beaching yards was involved.

On Monday 4 April the Environment Agency and the Police found evidence that the vessel was under a “break up voyage” insurance from Norway to Gadani, Pakistan. They also found unidentified and excessive amounts of sludge and fuel oils. The previous week, while the vessel was still in the dock, the „Tide Carrier“ changed name to „Harrier“ and changed from Comoros to another popular end-of-life flag: Palau. Consequently, it became clear that the repair contract from Oman which had been provided to the Norwegian authorities as a way to escape checks for the illegal export of the vessel was false. Revelations of the attempt of the ship’s illegal export and subsequent breaking on the Gadani beach resulted in the arrest of the ship.

This is not the first time cash buyers seek to circumvent environmental protection laws by providing fake contracts of repair or further operational use. Recently the Norwegian owned „City of Tokyo“ was allowed to leave the port of Antwerp under the pretense of repair work in Dubai – instead it sailed directly to the infamous beaching yards in Bangladesh. The „FPSO North Sea Producer“ was also illegally exported from the UK to Bangladesh under the pretense of further operational use in Nigeria.

“The cash buyers of ‚Tide Carrier‘ will not only have to pay back the Norwegian authorities for the rescue operation, but will also have to answer for the fake repair documents which were used to let it sail in the first place. Norwegian owner Eide will have to be held responsible for having sold to a cash buyer as this clearly indicates their complicity in the attempt to illegally export the ship and the potentially toxic excess sludges and fuels found on board,” says Ingvild Jenssen, Director at the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

Source: NGO Shipbreaking Platform