Eimskip: It was not our decision to send ships to Indian scrapyard

Iceland-based shipping company Eimskip has denied involvement in the sale of its two former containerships to an unapproved scrapyard in India.

On September 24, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV) reported on the sale of the 1,465 TEU container vessels Goðafoss and Laxfoss.

In 2017, Eimskip signed a contract to build two new vessels in China with the aim of replacing the vessels Goðafoss and Laxfoss. Therefore, the vessels were circulated for sale by various shipbrokers for some time.

In late 2019, the vessels were finally sold, and the new owner took over their operation at the beginning of this year. Parallel to the sale, Eimskip chartered the vessels back until the planned delivery of the newbuildings. Due to unexpected adverse market conditions, the decision was taken by the company to redeliver the vessels to their new owners last spring, earlier than expected, according to Eimskip.

“Subsequently, the new owners made the decision to sell the vessels for recycling in India. It was not Eimskip’s decision to recycle the vessels neither where, when nor how they would be recycled,” Eimskip pointed out.

The transporation company added that it approached the Environment Agency of Iceland on 25 September which informed Eimskip that it had reported the company to the District Prosecutors for alleged violation of the Icelandic Waste Management Act.

“Eimskip had no information about that report prior to the company’s inquiry and the agency never asked the company for any documentation regarding the matter,” Eimskip further said.

“Eimskip rejects these allegations as the company complied with all laws and regulations in the sale process.”

The sale of the ship pair to a yard in South Asia is said to be in breach of European waste laws prohibiting the trade of hazardous waste from OECD to non-OECD countries.

What is more, the dismantling practices of substandard dirty and dangerous scrapyards in India are in contrast with the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. The regulation, which implements the 2009 Hong Kong International Convention on ship recycling, says that recycling can only take place in safe shipbreaking yards on the European List.

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