The ministry of environment and forest has decided to make submission of the 'toxic free certificate' compulsory for both importers and exporters in a bid to stop import of toxic scrap ships.
The environment ministry in a letter requested the ministry of commerce to take necessary action in this regard in line with a decision taken yesterday.
A senior official of the ministry said both the importers and exporters would be held responsible for entering any polluted ship in the country's territory once the rule comes into effect.
Under the existing rules, only the importers have to submit a 'toxic waste free' certificate along with the shipping documents for official clearance before importing a scrap ship.
The decision of the environment ministry came following a recent press report published in a number of newspapers, which blamed for relaxing the existing import rules for some scrap ship importers.
Talking to BSS, State Minister for Environment and Forest Hasan Mahmud said, “We are making efforts to make the ship breaking industry environment friendly considering its economic benefit.”
In line with the High Court order and subsequent directives of the prime minister, the Department of Environment is formulating a rule for management of toxic and hazardous wastes of scrap ships, the minister said.
The rule would be framed as soon as possible and come to effect after vetting of the law ministry, he said adding that the scrap ship traders would have to submit toxic free certificate until enforcement of the new rules.
In line with the HC directive on March 17, 2009, the government has taken initiative for making a policy named 'Ship Breaking and Dangerous Waste Management Rule' and amend the existing Environment Conservation Act to allow ship breaking industry flourish in a conductive atmosphere.