Dutch shipping company Seatrade and two of its directors were last week found guilty by a Dutch court of sailing ships illegally to India to have them demolished. The company and the directors were fined up to €750,000 in what was one of the first cases of its kind. The directors were also banned from executive roles at any shipping company for a year, but the court declined to impose any prison sentences which had been asked for by the prosecutors.
Seatrade was found by the court to have broken EU rules when it sent four ships to India in 2012 for demolition.
The judges said that, as demolition was their only destination, the ships were effectively “waste” the moment they left port at Rotterdam and Hamburg. The transport of waste from the EU to India is banned. Seatrade said that it was disappointed with the verdict and indicated it would consider an appeal.
Seatrade said that there was “surprise and disbelief over the fines and professional ban of two directors. Seatrade would like to stress that recycling is an extremely challenging area for the international community as a whole.”