GreenPort Magazine – EU shipowners dump toxic ships

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13 February 2013 - According to a list released by Belgium based NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a record breaking number of 365 toxic ships were sent for breaking by European shipowners to the beaches of South Asia in 2012.

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition working for safe and sustainable ship recycling, says this record breaking number represents a 75% increase from 2011, when 210 EU owned ships were sent for breaking in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Patrizia Heidegger, executive director, NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said: “Despite the possibility of proper disposal in Europe or other developed countries, the vast majority of European shipping companies continue to profit by having their ships broken cheaply and dangerously on the beaches of South Asia.”

Of the top 10 European ship dumpers, Greek shipowners were number one, dumping 167 ships last year. German shipowners represented the second largest (48 ships), followed by UK owners (30 ships), Norway (23 ships), Cyprus (13 ships), Bulgaria (8 ships), Denmark (6 ships) and the Netherlands (5 ships).

The 2012 list also shows that most of the end-of-life ships sent by European shipowners did not fly EU flags, instead using flags such as Panama, Liberia, the Bahamas or St Kitts and Nevis.

Ms Heidegger added: “The EU must adopt mechanisms that will prevent European shipowners from exporting toxic ships for breaking in developing countries and instead recycle them according to the health, safety and environmental laws and standards of their own countries.”