Sentences for the illegal transfer of ships to India

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Rotterdam, 10 april 2018

The District Court of Rotterdam has sentenced six companies of the Seatrade group and two of its directors to pay fines of between €50,000 and €750,000. The directors were also prohibited from practicing their profession. They must not practice the profession of director, supervisory director, advisor or employee of a shipping company for a period of one year. A third director was acquitted.

Ships as waste material

The conviction concerns the illegal transfer of four (reefer) ships from the European Union to - initially - India. When these ships left the ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg in 2012, the Seatrade group already intended to have the ships scrapped. This turned the ships into waste, despite the fact that they were still seaworthy, certified, insured and operational.

The ships were eventually scrapped on beaches in India, Bangladesh and Turkey. Although scrapping ships on beaches has far-reaching consequences for the environment and health in view of, among other things, the large quantity of hazardous substances that are released during the scrapping and the often wretched working conditions, the fact that this is the first criminal prosecution for such a transfer has been taken into account in the sentencing, in favour of the suspects.

For this reason, it was decided not to impose prison sentences.

Click here for the English translation (pdf, 144,2 KB) of the court ruling

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