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            august 19, 2019

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Dutch shipowner fined US$3.4 million for beaching vessel in India


Dutch shipowner Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II BV has been fined EUR780,000 (US$892,002) and paid a settlement of EUR2.2 million for having beached a vessel for scrapping in India.
In 2013, Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II BV, a subsidiary of WEC Lines, sold the HMS Laurence to a cash buyer, a company specialised in the trade of end-of-life vessels to beaching yards, reports London's Vessel Performance Optimisation.
The vessel ended up in Alang, India, where it was broken under conditions that "cause serious damage to the environment and expose the health of workers and the local population to grave danger", according to the Dutch Public Prosecutor.
It was reported that the vessel was carrying toxic materials within its structure. Following criminal investigations on the illegal export of the vessel from Italy, the Dutch Public Prosecutor agreed to a settlement of EUR2.2 million, the amount that company was paid by the beaching yard.
Said NGO Shipbreaking Platform founder Ingvild Jenssen: "It is very encouraging to see that shipowners are being held accountable for the trafficking of toxic ships.'
In 2015, the captain of the HMS Laurence was sentenced by the Dutch Maritime Disciplinary Court to a six-month conditional suspension of his master's navigation licence.
This was due to the fact that beaching the vessel was in breach of the captain's duty of care to the environment, according to the Disciplinary Court.
Last week, a shipbreaker was fined US$280,000 for scrapping a vessel on the Parki Sea Beach, Bangladesh. The court emphasised that beaching causes irreparable damage to the local ecology.

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