169 Ships Sold to South Asian Beaches for Breaking
Of the 220 ships broken in the second quarter of 2018, 169 were sold to be scrapped on the beaches of South Asia, says NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
In the second quarter of 2018, American ship owners sold the most ships to the South Asian yards with 26 vessels beached, followed by Greek and UAE owners. In the end of April, Pakistan reopened the market to the import of tankers.
In two months alone, 22 tankers reached the shores of Gadani to be scrapped as devaluing freight rates have contributed to the demolition of more than 100 tankers in the first half of 2018.
Only three ships had a European flag – Greece, Malta and Norway – when they were beached last quarter. All ships sold to the Chittagong, Alang and Gadani yards pass via the hands of scrap-dealers, also known as cash-buyers, that often re-register and re-flag the vessel on its final voyage.
Grey- and black-listed flags of convenience are particularly popular with cash-buyers, and more than half of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach. This is the highest number of flag changes recorded by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and raises serious concerns with regards to the effectiveness of legislation based on flag state jurisdiction.
So far this year, Platform sources have recorded 18 deaths and nine injuries due to shipbreaking in South Asia.