The Norwegian environmental authorities arrested the 1989-built barge carrier Harrier, previously named Tide Carrier, on April 5 after it had been sold for scrapping to a South Asian beaching facility.
The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, citing the environmental authorities, said that relevant officials found evidence indicating the ship 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 Norwegian Environment Agency said that the ship 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, adding that this is the first arrest of a vessel for the illegal export of hazardous waste in the country.
Reports of the sale were unveiled during the summer of 2015, and on February 22, 2017 the vessel attempted to leave Norway under a new name, flag and registered owner, according to the Platform. 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.
However, the ship ran into difficulties as its engine stopped working outside the Norwegian coast of Jaeren. The coastguard was forced to trigger a salvage operation, complicated by way of the weather conditions, to avoid the risk of oil spill and grounding close to one of the most renowned beaches in Norway.
Norwegian authorities have since then been trying to trace the owner and insurer of the vessel, given that “someone should be held accountable for the costs of the rescue operation incurred by the Norwegian state,” the Platform said.
While the authorities investigated the ownership and condition of the vessel, it remained docked in Gismarvik, Norway.
“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,” Ingvild Jenssen, Director at the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said.