Dutch owner fined for beaching vessel prior to scrapping

Image: MarineTraffic.com/kozanitis leonardos
Image: MarineTraffic.com/kozanitis leonardos – HMS Laurence

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) of the Netherlands has imposed a huge fine on a local shipowner for having beached one of its vessels for scrapping in India after the risks it posed to people and the environment became evident.

WEC Lines subsidiary Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II has been fined €780,000 (US$887,000) and has paid a settlement of €2.2 million (US$2.5 million) for the beaching of the containership HMS Laurence.

The ship was sold in 2013 to an unnamed firm that traded in end-of-life vessels. The buyer, which paid for the vessel in cash, eventually had it sent to Alang, India, for scrapping.

Holland Maas has been charged with scrapping a vessel on a tidal mudflat and exporting of hazardous materials, both of which are prohibited in Europe. Furthermore, the PPS stated that the scrapping was performed under conditions that “cause serious damage to the environment and expose the health of workers and the local population to grave danger.”

A settlement of €2.2 million was reached between Holland Maas and the PPS as the prosecutors said it was the amount for which the ship was sold to the beaching yard.

The shipowner has also stated it will avoid beaching its vessels for scrapping in future.

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