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EU proposal on scrapping of hazardous ships criticised

A proposal presented by the European Commission aimed at legalising exports of hazardous ships for scrapping is opposed by NGO as well as shipbreakers, Economic Times reports.

A new proposal from the European Commission to legalise sending ships for scrapping in developing countries even though the ships contain hazardous materials is criticised by a rarely seen alliance. Both the NGO, Shipbreaking Platform, and an Indian shipbreaker association criticise the proposal. So the Indian media, Economic Times, reports.

“This practise has been forbidden in Europe since January of 1997. By unilaterally seeking to exempt most ships from the EU Waste Shipment regulation, the Commission would break with the EU law that implements the international treaty known as the Basel Convention and its Amendment which bans hazardous waste exports to the world’s poorest countries”, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform states in a press release. As an explanation to the proposal, the European Commission has said that the EU and developed countries do not have sufficient capacity for the recycling of ships and that, regardless of the regulation, it is not possible to keep owners from reflagging their ships in order to circumvent national legislation and scrap in developing countries. Environmental groups have criticised the capacity examinations and think that the Commission could have done more in order to examine the opportunity for responsible schemes for shipowners and manufacturers.

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