Both ships had operated as shuttle tankers in the North Sea for almost two decades. For commercial reasons, there is a maximum operation period of 20 years for vessels in the North Sea. The tankers' contracts were consequently not prolonged leading to them leaving Norwegian waters shortly before they turned 20 in March and July 2018, respectively. Both tankers were then beached and scrapped in Alang, India. The shipbreaking method commonly known as beaching involves the vessel being run ashore ('beached') and dismantled in the intertidal zone. Such scrapping of obsolete ships is a major global environmental problem.
Shipbreaking on Asian beaches has a huge environmental impact on, inter alia, local ecosystems, polluting them with heavy metals and other hazardous substances. The safety of the treatment of hazardous waste is doubtful, and the scrapping is associated with a high risk of work accidents.
The Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim) takes a serious view of export of Norwegian-operated obsolete ships and their associated waste and environmental problems to developing countries with weaker legislation and law enforcement than Norway, says Økokrim's police prosecutor Maria Bache Dahl. 
The company has been given two weeks to consider whether they will accept the fine.
Point of contact:
Police Prosecutor Maria Bache Dahl 
mobile phone no. +47 90 51 90 92.