31 October 2011

Otapan case restores a precedent:

Restoring Le Clemenceau precedent, on 16 May 2008, a major victory was won by the environmental groups as the saga of the controversial ship Otapan finally came to a happy ending as it sailed after decontamination from Amsterdam to the Turkish shipbreaking yards of Aliaga, Turkey near Izmir.

The Otapan
The Otapan has a stirring history. Since 1999 the ship was in the Netherlands. In 2001, crew members were caught illegally and dangerously removing asbestos from the ship in the port of Amsterdam.

The Dutch ended up seizing the ship. In 2006 the former State Secretary Van Geel gave a permit for export to Turkey. While the ship was on its way to Turkey, Greenpeace Netherlands discovered that the license and the inventory on board listing hazardous wastes were incorrect. The Platform alerted Turkey and the government refused the ship. Despite a special visit to Ankara and an appeal by Van Geel, the Turkish government insisted on a full pre-cleaning and the Otapan came back to the Netherlands.

Source: IMO Watch

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