There were a total of 210 ships broken in the second quarter of 2017, and 158 of these ships ended up on South Asian beaches for dirty and dangerous breaking, according to NGO Shipbreaking Platform. The Platform reported five accidents at the ship breaking yards in Chittagong, Bangladesh, between April and June, which led to the death of four workers and the injury of two.
- The worst dumping country this quarter was Germany with 16 beached ships, due to multiple bankruptcies in German shipping industry.
- The other leading dumping nations were Singapore with 12 ships, Greece with 9, and South Korea with 8.
- Though 45 out of the 158 beached vessels this quarter were European-controlled, only four of these had a European flag.
Legislation at the international and European level to regulate the disposal of ships is based on flag state jurisdiction. The flags of the worst dumping countries were however rarely or not used at end-of-life. Flags of convenience, in particular the grey- and black-listed ones under the Paris MOU, are used by cash buyers and ship owners to send ships to the worst breaking locations. Nearly a third of all the ships sent to South Asia this quarter changed flag to typical end-of-life registries only weeks before hitting the beaches.
There were five cases where the ships in question were sent to South Asia in breach of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation.
The worst company was the Singaporean Continental Shipping Line that had six Liberian-flagged vessels that all changed flag to St Kitts & Nevis or Comoros and were beached in South Asia. Quantum Pacific is at second place for worst dumping practices, with four ships sold to Pakistan and Bangladesh. The worst dumper of 2016 was UK-based Zodiac Maritime.
Commenting on the results of this quarter, the Platform noted that these figures show “how legislation based on flag state jurisdiction will fail in changing the deplorable shipbreaking practices of the shipping industry.”