Netherlands: court finds criminal liability for export of ships as waste under EC Regulation 1013/2006

The Rotterdam District Court has condemned a shipping company for the illegal export of ships for scrapping. A set of related decisions dated 15 March 2018 has led to the company Seatrade being fined, and to a temporary professional ban issued against two of its executives. The Dutch public prosecutor considered as facts the sales of ships for demolition in India, Bangladesh and Turkey in 2012. One of the justifications for these decisions has been that the “harmful consequences of scrapping ships on the beaches of India and Bangladesh, in particular for the environment and health, are far-reaching.” (translated from the Dutch: “De schadelijke gevolgen van het slopen van schepen op de stranden van met name India en Bangladesh voor milieu en gezondheid, zijn verstrekkend”). These decisions were taken on the basis of Regulation (EC) Nr. 1013/2006 on the shipment of waste, which prohibits EU member-states from exporting hazardous waste to countries outside the OECD. The court interpreted Recital 35 of that Regulation, which states that “[i]t is necessary to ensure the safe and environmentally sound management of ship dismantling in order to protect human health and the environment” as encompassing ships of all flags fall under its scope. The cases may be found in the list below:

ECLI: NL: RBROT: 2018: 2108 Court of Rotterdam, 15-03-2018, 10 / 994550-15
ECLI: NL: RBROT: 2018: 2215 Court of Rotterdam, 15-03-2018, 10 / 997501-13
ECLI: NL: RBROT: 2018: 2216 Court of Rotterdam, 15-03-2018, 10 / 997504-13
ECLI: NL: RBROT: 2018: 2217 Court of Rotterdam, 15-03-2018, 10 / 994552-15
ECLI: NL: RBROT: 2018: 2218 Court of Rotterdam, 15-03-2018, 10 / 997503-13
ECLI: NL: RBROT: 2018: 2345 Court of Rotterdam, 15-03-2018, 10 / 994551-15
ECLI: NL: RBROT: 2018: 2348 Court of Rotterdam, 15-03-2018, 10 / 994548-15
ECLI: NL: RBROT: 2018: 2364 Court of Rotterdam, 15-03-2018, 10 / 994549-15
ECLI: NL: RBROT: 2018: 2390 Court of Rotterdam, 15-03-2018, 10 / 997506-13

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