Illegal export of hazardous waste to Turkey

20 Mar 2013

The ship was docked along the main jetty of the port of Marseille. Since September 2010, she imposed herself as a five-star squatter while, despite her silhouette and red chimney, she tried to blend in and make believe that her port of call was temporary.

Initially her stopover in Marseille was technical. There was talk of replacing steam turbines with diesel engines. From technical, the stopover quickly became economical. There is no future for a ship built 30 years ago without considerable expense and a regulatory upgrade.

According to Le Marin Daily Newsletter, Atlantic Star left Marseille’s port yesterday en route to Turkey for demolition. To date, the destinations of India or Bangladesh seem to be excluded.

Atlantic Star belonged to Pullmantur, the Spanish subsidiary of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Atlantic Star has been part of a bargain. Unmarketable as an operating cruise ship, she was “recovered” by STX France in order to facilitate the order for a new Oasis mega liner to be built by Saint-Nazaire shipyards.

This “recovery” is troublesome. She is dead weight and full of controversy regarding hazardous waste and asbestos. Atlantic Star was built in the shipyards of La Seyne-sur-Mer in the early 80s; in July 2012, the Labor Court Judges of Toulon acknowledged that NORMED had failed in its obligation to ensure the safety of 550 workers exposed to asbestos. The demolition of Atlantic Star in Europe would be prohibitive to her owner, if it is technically possible. On the other hand, the sale without a preliminary removal of asbestos will bring to STX France – 33,3% of which is owned by the French State – about $6 million at the current scrap rate in Turkey.

The export of the Atlantic Star to an OECD country (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) should under French and European law be preceded by an asbestos removal or a notification under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste. Additionally, an inventory of hazardous materials on board should be quantified and mapped. Otherwise, the export of waste could be refused upon arrival in Turkey and be subject to scrutiny by the courts and the French customs.




Imprimer cet article Imprimer cet article