Indian ship recyclers have been forced to adhere to the Basel Convention regarding the import of hazardous wastes. Faced with a petition from Indian-based environmental organisation ToxicsWatch Alliance, on 30th July, India’s Supreme Court ruled that vessels arriving for recycling in Indian waters containing hazardous materials, such as asbestos or PCBs, must follow the Basel Convention on global movements of hazardous wastes. It means that India must first be notified as to all hazardous materials contained on board and must approve ship importation from all sources for scrapping, prior to the vessel’s arrival in India.
The Court decided that the former ‘Exxon Valdez’, a vessel whose arrival in Indian waters prompted the environmentalists to act, will be the last ship to arrive in India without the Basel rules being applied.
There is hard competition between Bangladesh and India recycling industry, India will keep its appetite on securing tonnage by trying to offer firm prices as the ruling of Supreme Court did not impose the closure of the scrap yards.
Industry experts don’t see any reasons for worrying as to the fate of the Indian recycling industry, and believe that the Supreme Court decision will result mostly, in growing number and volume of bribes to be paid to the above mentioned “all sources” empowered with the authority to supervise the deals.
Source: Maritime Bulletin. 6 August 2012http://www.odin.tc/news/read.asp?articleID=1157