NGO Platform: 169 Ships Sold to South Asian Beaches

Shipbreaking yards of Chittagong, BangladeshImage Courtesy: NGO Shipbreaking Platform 2014

From a total of 220 ships, which were scrapped in the second quarter of 2018, 169 vessels were sent to the beaches of South Asia for breaking, NGO Shipbreaking Platform said in its report.

In the second quarter of 2018, American ship owners sold the most ships to the South Asian yards with 26 vessels beached, followed by Greek and UAE owners.

The Platform said that the American company Tidewater “was the worst corporate dumper with fifteen vessels beached.”

In the end of April, Pakistan re-opened the market to the import of tankers. In two months alone, twenty-two tankers reached the shores of Gadani to be scrapped. The Platform cited industry sources as saying that devaluing freight rates have contributed to the demolition of over 100 tankers in the first half of 2018.

Only three ships had a European flag – Greece, Malta and Norway – when they were beached during the quarter. All ships sold to the Chittagong, Alang and Gadani yards pass via the hands of cash-buyers, that often re-register and re-flag the vessel on its final voyage.

More than half of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform said.

“This is the highest number of flag changes recorded by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and raises serious concerns with regards to the effectiveness of legislation based on flag state jurisdiction.”

Furthermore, the Platform’s report showed that between April and June, six workers have lost their lives and seven others have been severely injured when breaking ships in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Another worker was reported dead after an accident at a shipbreaking yard in Alang, India. So far this year, Platform sources have recorded 18 deaths and 9 injuries in South Asia.

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