Seatrade Likely to Appeal Rotterdam Court Verdict

Following yesterday’s verdict by Rotterdam District Court that convicted Seatrade for the sale of ships to India to have them demolished, the Groningen-based owner said it would consider its position for a potential appeal.

“Seatrade is disappointed that the Rotterdam District Court has not followed Seatrade’s interpretation of the complex European Waste Shipment Regulations,” Cor Radings, a spokesperson for the company, told World Maritime News.

Seatrade’s position is that seaworthy vessels should not be considered waste and the company believes that the enforcement of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation was not the right tool to regulate ship recycling.

“As it stands, it is very likely the company will consider proceeding to The Hague Court of Appeal,” the company statement reads.

In line with yesterday’s verdict, Seatrade has been imposed with fines reaching up to EUR 750,000 (USD 924,000) and two of its executives have been banned from exercising the profession as director, commissioner, advisor or employee of a shipping company for one year. A third director has been acquitted.

However, the prison sentence, previously sought by the prosecution, has been waived.

“Seatrade has mixed feelings about the verdict. There is relief no jail sentences have been imposed which confirms the integrity of the company, its staff and the involved directors. However, at the same time there is surprise and disbelief over the fines and professional ban of two of its directors,” the company noted.

The conviction concerns the 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 intention was already to demolish the ships which makes the ships categorized as waste, despite the fact that they were still seaworthy, certified, insured and operational, the Rotterdam court said.

The court further determined that Seatrade knowingly sold the vessels for dirty and dangerous breaking in order to maximize profits.

World Maritime News Staff