Sea Beirut (1975 – 2002)
Other names: Rivainfanzon, Beli, Sofia, Feederboss
Destination yard: Aliaga, Turkey
In December 1999, the Ro-Ro cargo ship Sea Beirut’s engine broke down off the port of Dunkirk, France. The ship was towed to the port and was soon after formaly abandoned by her owner, Liberian-based Lane Holding S.A.
Once under the Dunkirk port authorities’ responsibility, the Sea Beirut was sold for breaking to Turkey and left the port for her final destination. But, the sale constituted a breach of the “prior informed consent” under the framework of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. Although hazardous waste was present within the structure of the ship, the French authorities respected neither the terms of the Basel Convention nor the European waste regulation (Regulation EEC No 259/93 at the time). Both Greenpeace and Turkish authorities boarded the ship in Aliaga and took samples of the waste found onboard, which was identified as asbestos.
In June 2002, Greenpeace wrote a complaint to the European Commission detailing the laws the Dunkirk authorities had breached, the documents seized by Greenpeace, and asking the EC to have France re-import the ship. The Sea Beirut was eventually dismantled and recycled in Aliaga, Turkey.
For more information:
>> The June 2002 complaint sent by Greenpeace to the EU Commission about the illegal export of the Sea Beirut
>> The summary of the Sea Beirut case written by Greenpeace in May 2002