Brussels — In the second quarter of 2017, worldwide a total of 210 ships was broken. 158 of these ships ended up on South Asian beaches for dirty and dangerous breaking: 24 in Pakistan, 60 in Bangladesh and 74 in India. The worst dumping country this quarter was Germany with 16 beached ships, according to NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
The dumping of Germany`s end-of-life ships seems to be a consequence of the multiple bankruptcies due to the toxic financing that has been characteristic of the German shipping industry. In June, German public television channel ARD documented the appalling conditions under which German ships are broken in Bangladesh. The other leading dumping nations were Singapore with 12 ships, Greece with 9, and South Korea with 8. Though 45 out of the 158 beached vessels this quarter were European-controlled, only four of these had a European flag.
The flags of the worst dumping countries were however rarely or not used at end-of-life. Flags of convenience, in particular the grey- and black-listed ones under the Paris MOU, are used by cash buyers and ship owners to send ships to the worst breaking locations. Nearly a third (49) of all the ships sent to South Asia this quarter changed flag to typical end-of-life registries only weeks before hitting the beaches: St Kitts & Nevis, Comoros, Palau, Djibouti, Niue and Togo. These flags are not typically used during the operational life of ships and offer ‘last voyage registration’ discounts. They are grey and black-listed due to their poor implementation of international maritime law.
There were five cases where the ships in question were sent to South Asia in breach of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation. In Bangladesh, NGO Shipbreaking Platform was successful in taking legal action to halt the breaking of the FPSO North Sea Producer which was illegally exported from the UK in 2016. The Platform also alerted this the Brazilian government of several vessels exported to the beaching yards from Brazil in clear breach of UNEP’s Basel Convention. The worst company was the Singaporean Continental Shipping Line that had six Liberian-flagged vessels that all changed flag to St Kitts & Nevis or Comoros and were beached in South Asia. Quantum Pacific is a close runner-up on second place for worst dumping practices, with four ships sold to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Source: NGO Shipbreaking Platform