The District Court sentenced the man to 6 months in prison for contributing to export waste in violation of the Pollution Control Act. The Court of Appeal found it proven that the vessel was destined for Gadani, Pakistan, to be scrapped on the beach there, and that the contribution made by the defendant resulted in considerable cost and time savings in the export of the ship.

"This is the first time a Norwegian enterprise or individual has been convicted of involvement with scrapping of obsolete vessels on the beaches of South Asia. Such scrapping, known as beaching, is a major international pollution problem. As a major ship-owning nation, it is important that Norwegian authorities help combat this problem," says Police Prosecutor Maria Bache Dahl.

Waste export is subject to strict regulations, both in Norway and internationally. The aim is to prevent rich countries from sending their waste to poor countries that lack satisfactory systems for handling it. Beaching means running the ship up on a beach under its own power and then dismantling it in the intertidal zone. The method is characterised by unsafe handling of hazardous waste and resulting pollution of soil and water. Beaching is also characterised by unsafe working practices and serious accidents, and exploitation of migrant workers and child labour have been reported.

"The Court of Appeal found that whether the owner sold the ship directly to a scrapper on the beach at Gadani, or to a middleman and thereby contributing to the export and scrapping of the ship, made little difference as regards whether or not the act merited punishment. Selling the vessel to a middleman who has specialised in scrapping is a common method when beaching vessels, and it is worth noting that this may, depending on the circumstances, be punishable in Norway," says Bache Dahl.

The judgment was not unanimous, with two of the judges voting to acquit the ship-owner.

The judgment is final and enforceable.

For any questions about the judgment, contact:
Police Prosecutor Maria Bache Dahl
+47 905 19 092.
+47 23 29 10 30