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NGO Shipbreaking Platform calls on Italian owners to stop beaching their toxic ships

16 11/2015

Brussels, 16 November 2015 – The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of 19 environmental, human rights and labour rights organisations working to end polluting and dangerous shipbreaking, denounces Italian shipping companies Grimaldi Group, Ignazio Messina and Vittorio Bogazzi & Figli for their poor shipbreaking practices and calls upon them to take necessary actions to ensure the sustainable recycling of their end-of-life fleet as a matter of urgency. The Platform has sent letters to the Italian ship owners and the Italian Shipowners’ Association, inviting them to initiate a constructive dialogue with the NGO.

(Photo by Adam Cohn – www.adamcohn.com – Dawn at Alang Shipyards, 2015)

Whilst an increasing number of ship owners do not want to be associated with dangerous and polluting practices, Grimaldi Group, Ignazio Messina and Vittorio Bogazzi & Figli have continued to sell their vessels to shipbreaking yards that are globally acknowledged not to respect basic human rights and environmental protection standards. According to data collected by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, the three Italian companies have since 2009 sold fifty-four end-of-life ships to South Asian beaching yards for substandard breaking.

In the letter sent to the Italian ship owners, the Platform reminds the companies of their obligations under European waste laws as well as the standards for safe and green ship recycling as set in the new European Regulation on Ship Recycling. None of the South Asian beaching yards meets the requirements of the new EU Regulation on Ship Recycling. Based in the European Union, Grimaldi Group, Ignazio Messina and Vittorio Bogazzi & Figli are asked to adopt a ship recycling policy that is in line with EU standards and legislation.

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CSL’s ships on their way to Aliağa

30 09/2015

Brussels, 30 September 2015 – Canada Steamship Lines, division of The CSL Group, has recently sent two bulk carriers – Birchglen and Mapleglen – to Turkey for being responsibly dismantled at a facility in Aliağa.

The recycling is part of CSL’s fleet optimisation and capacity management programs. Notably, CSL embraces a rigourous ship recycling policy; we included the company, thanks to its commitment to clean and safe ship recycling off the beach, on the list of responsible ship owners.

Copyrights: Mapleglen by Bob Welton

SOURCE Canada Steamship Lines

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NGOs write to Polsteam calling on the Polish state-owned company to stop beaching

08 09/2015

Brussels, 8 September 2015 – Environmental, human and labour rights organisations denounce Polish government-owned shipping company Polsteam for its poor shipbreaking practices and call upon Polsteam to take the necessary action concerning its ship recycling practices as a matter of urgency. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform and the European Environmental Bureau, and the more than 160 environmental, human and labour rights organisations they represent, together with Polish NGOs Fundacja Instytut na rzecz Ekorozwoju and Towarzystwo na Rzecz Ziemi, have sent a letter to Polsteam asking the company, and the government, to change its practices.

Whilst new European Union legislation clearly disqualifies shipbreaking on tidal beaches as environmentally sound and safe and more ship owners join the group of those that do not want to be associated with dangerous and polluting practices, Polsteam has already this year sold three end-of-life vessels to South Asian beaching yards. The bulk carriers Armia Ludowa and Polska Walczaca were sold to Bangladesh breakers where shipbreaking is globally acknowledged not to respect even minimum human rights and environmental standards.

Polsteam is undergoing a fleet replacement and investment programme for the years 2015 to 2020 and still owns at least 15 vessels built in the 1990s that are likely candidates for scrapping in the next couple of years.

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Norwegian Shipowners’ Association Says No to Beaching Old Vessels

20 08/2015

Brussels, 18 August 2015 – The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association says no to the beaching of end-of-life vessels – the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of 19 environmental and human rights organisations, welcomes this decision and calls on other ship owners and their associations to mirror the Norwegian position.

Norges rederiforbund logo

In an op-ed published yesterday in Dagens Næringsliv, the largest daily business newspaper in Norway, the association’s CEO Sturla Henriksen writes that shipowners have a responsibility to ensure the safe and environmentally sound dismantling of their end-of-life fleet. The association further states on its website: “As an industry we can no longer defend that ships are broken in a way that puts health and the environment at risk. Therefore we say, as the first ship owners association in the world, no to the beaching of ships.

The Norwegian position against dangerous and polluting shipbreaking increases the demand for safe and green ship recycling capacity.

International legislation on hazardous waste trade is easily circumvented by the shipping industry and rules adopted by the International Maritime Organisation in 2009, the Hong Kong Convention, have so far just received the meagre endorsement by only three countries – Norway, France and Congo. New European Union legislation, which outlines a more detailed interpretation of the Hong Kong Convention and adds value to these requirements by offering independent third party audits of the ship recycling facilities seeking approval, clearly disqualifies the beaching method as safe and environmentally sound. It is expected to be applicable by 2017. The Platform welcomes that the Norwegian ship owners, coming from a country that played a leading role on the development of the Hong Kong Convention, now vouch for a strict interpretation of the IMO rules in line with European requirements. The EU will soon publish a list of ship recycling facilities globally that meet basic environmental and occupational heath and safety standards – none of the South Asian beaching yards meet these requirements.

Thirteen large shipping companies already follow sustainable ship recycling policies. In addition to several Norwegian ship owners such as Grieg, Wilhelmsen and Høegh, also German Hapag-Lloyd, Danish Maersk Lines, Royal Dutch Boskalis, Canadian CSL Group and Singapore-based China Navigation Company, have committed to ensuring the proper end-of-life management of their fleet. They do so on principle, even if they have to compromise on their profits – they simply do not want to be responsible for polluting sensitive coastal zones and putting workers lives at risk during dirty and dangerous shipbreaking on tidal beaches. The announcement of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association adds many more shipping companies to the list of responsible stakeholders.

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NGO Shipbreaking Platform works hand in hand with Dutch ship owner Boskalis for sustainable ship recycling in Mexico

15 04/2015

Brussels, 15 April 2015 – NGO Shipbreaking Platform board member Merijn Hougee has collaborated with Dutch dredging and marine expert Boskalis over several months to develop a comprehensive ship recycling policy. Boskalis has decided for clean and safe dismantling of its obsolete fleet in a Mexican ship recycling facility with which the ship owner has established a close partnership. Boskalis, which has been recognized by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform as an industry leader, reported about its progress in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report 2014.

“This is a best practice example”, says Patrizia Heidegger, Executive Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. “Boskalis has shown how a ship owner can quickly improve ship recycling practices by taking the matter in one’s own hands. Other shipping companies should follow suit. We hope Boskalis will continue to lead by example and live up to the standards they have set for themselves. We are looking forward to continued collaboration and welcome further proposals by other shipping companies looking to improve their practices.”

According to NGO Shipbreaking Platform board member Merijn Hougee, Boskalis’ approach to dismantling is a testimony to how serious the company is about applying the international conventions to its recycling activities.

“The Boskalis technical superintendents on site showed passionate commitment to the clean and safe recycling of the vessels,” he says. “They took abstract principles and turned them into practical applications and invested time to find a dry-dock facility on the other side of the world which clearly has the potential to meet the highest international standards. I encourage Boskalis to keep sharing their knowledge to help the yard progress and to communicate transparently about their recycling practices since this sets a positive example in the maritime industry. Ultimately, this approach will help to transform a historically ‘dirty’ shipbreaking industry into a recycling industry with a positive image.”