Norwegian court upholds Georg Eide’s prison sentence for scrap sale

Norway’s Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of shipowner Georg Eide in connection with the attempted export and scrapping of the LASH vessel Eide Carrier (IMO 8730479). Eide now faces six months in jail as a result of his crime.

In 2015-16 Eide sold the Eide Carrier to new owners. The new owners renamed it the Tide Carrier (and in 2017 it was to become the Harrier). The following year the new owners attempted to sail it on a demolition voyage to Gadani, Pakistan, but the vessel immediately lost power and nearly drifted aground in foul weather (IMN, April 27th 2018). Five of the crewmembers were injured in the evolution, including one who sustained a broken shoulder.

After its rescue the Tide Carrier returned to layup in the Norwegian port of Gismarvik, at which point it became the Harrier and Palau-flagged (having been sailing under the Comoros flag since January 2017). Norwegian officials later boarded it and found that it had been insured for a second demolition voyage to Gadani, Pakistan – which was not the listed destination for its departure.

In 2020 Georg Eide was charged with violating the waste export controls of Norway’s Pollution Control Act. They alleged that he “had knowledge that the ship would be scrapped in Asia” and that he knew the beaching method of scrapping was contrary to Norwegian environmental law. A district court convicted Eide and sentenced him to six months. He appealed the decision at the Gulating court of appeal, but lost again. The Supreme Court has declined to hear the case, cutting off Eide’s last legal refuge and meaning that the sentence stands.

In addition to Eide’s penalty, Singaporean cash buyer Wirana received a fine of $700,000, and two Norwegian companies had to pay $200,000 and $50,000 respectively.

The Norwegian Environment Agency told local publication Stavanger Aftenblad that shipowners’ applications for legally-compliant scrapping had risen since the case against Eide was filed.

In 2018, 1989-built, Palau-flagged, 38,282 gt Harrier is owned by Julia Shipping Inc care of Nabeel Shipmanagement FZE of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. That arrangement continues to exist today.