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Maersk: There is a limit to our responsibility for scrapping

The Maersk Group policy states that the company’s fleet must be scrapped responsibly at approved yards. Yet the company is being criticized for not doing enough. “There is a limit to how far our responsibility goes,” maintains the company.

Photo: IMO

How many demands can be placed on a shipping company in order to secure that its ships are scrapped responsibly? The NGO Shipbreaking Platform believes that shipowners ought to make sure that a ship following its last voyage is scrapped under decent working conditions, even though the ship at that time has been resold. For instance, this could be secured through a certificate which obliges the buyer of the ship not to beach the ships in Pakistan or India.

In other words, the Bruxelles-based organization will go further than simply demanding that shipping companies ensure proper scrapping of their own ships. Maersk Line welcomed Shipbreaking Platform’s recent publication of a list with names of companies and ships which the organization believes to have been scrapped irresponsibly in Asia. Yet Maersk Line draws the line at ownership. You cannot place the responsibility for a ship with a company that does not own the ship. Furthermore, the proposal of letting a document follow the ship in an attempt to secure responsible scrapping does not hold, says Maersk Line’s Head of Environment & Corporate Social Responsibility Jacob Sterling.

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