Pre-cleaning report must before import | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 12, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 12, 2010

Ship-breaking Yard

Pre-cleaning report must before import

HC orders action against shipping staff for misinterpreting its earlier directive

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The High Court yesterday in an order ruled that no ship could be imported in Bangladesh without pre-cleaning and environmental certificates from exporting countries.
It said the Department of Shipping could issue no objection certificates (NOCs) to those ships only seeing such certificates and compliance of other legal obligations.
The ship exporters have to ensure that their ships are not hazardous, a lawyer said.
The court ordered the director general of the Department of Shipping to take departmental action against its assistant chemist Fawzia for misinterpreting its March 17, 2009 verdict on the closure of ship-breaking yards.
It also asked the director general to inform this court within two months about the action against Fawzia.
The HC bench of Justice Md Imman Ali and Justice Obaidul Hasan came up with the order after Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association (Bela) filed an application on Nov 15, 2009, for court directives. Bela said the government has been arbitrarily authorising import of ships with hazardous substances.
The bench ordered for taking action against Fawzia after examining her official note given on March 22, 2009. She said in the note that the ship importers have to collect the pre-cleaning and environmental certificates for importing only green ships.
Following her note, 172 ships have been entered into the Bangladesh territory for scraping after the HC had delivered the verdict, the court observed, adding that 24 persons have been killed due to breaking the hazardous ships.
It also was disappointed over the increasing number of ship-breaking yards, which is now 88, as this number was 36 during the HC verdict.
The HC in its verdict on March 17, 2009, also ruled that the pre-cleaning and environmental certificates have to be collected for importing all kinds of ships.
It asked the Department of Shipping not to issue NOCs without such certificates and compliance of legal obligations.
Following a petition filed by Bangladesh Ship Breakers' Association on March 24, 2009, the Supreme Court stayed the HC verdict on closure of the ship-breaking yards upholding other parts of the verdict.
The HC on January 26 this year directed the government to submit by March 18 all documents on 172 ships imported for scrapping since its verdict was delivered on March 17 last year.
The court also directed the government to frame terms of reference giving sufficient authority to the committee formed in mid-February to monitor the activities of ship-breaking yards and take necessary steps.
Advocate Iqbal Kabir Litan appeared for Bela, while Deputy Attorney General Nazrul Islam Talukder stood for the government.

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