Norwegian shipowner handed jail sentence in landmark demolition ruling

A Norwegian shipowner was handed a six-month jail sentence on Friday for illegally sending his ship to a scrapyard in Pakistan.

Georg Eide was deemed to have violated the Pollution Control Act in his decision three years ago to send the Tide Carrier for demolition on a beach in Pakistan in a landmark ruling in Oslo. He intends to appeal the ruling.

“Scrapping of obsolete ships is a major international environmental problem. As a large maritime nation, it is important that the Norwegian authorities contribute the fight against this problem,” commented Maria Bache Dahl, a senior public prosecutor.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. The agenda is beyond the environment, which in any case is flawed, politically driven and has no basis in reality! The issue is of total control of every activity of human life so that individuality is sacrificed. Now that the technology exists to enforce it, it won’t be long before George Orwell’s 1984 becomes reality. I suggest the book becomes required reading for every human being, unless you wish to be enslaved!

  2. This is a really interesting story.

    Looking back to something I wrote decades ago, perhaps I should keep out of Norway:

    “…here is some simple, free, advice …. In future, please do as others, more experienced in these matters, do;

    like this:- 1. Ring your broker and tell him that you want to sell the ship for further trading, on ‘simple terms’. If he is up to his job, he will understand you to mean that you want to sell the ship to a scrap speculator….

    …2. The buyer will then ring his lawyers and buy a Liberian shelf company on bearer shares.

    3. You sell the ship to the new company. One of the ‘simple terms’ is that the ship’s name and funnel marks are changed. You have now sold a viable, trading, ship, with certificates for at least another week, from your high profile company in the OECD to an obscure company in an African nation outside the OECD. You have not breached the Basle Convention.

    4. The speculator then does what he is best at, which is to sell the ship for breaking.

    All these functions can be carried out, by experts of high professional standing, within half a mile of your office doors…

    …The ship will still end up in India, she will still get broken up, and the breakers’ workforce will not be out of employment. The Basle Convention, on the other hand, will have been observed precisely.”

    If I understand reports of this case correctly, Mr Eide seems to have followed my advice.

    Umm. Ms Dahl may want to arrest me, too. My defence will be that I merely described the ordinary practice of shipowners.

    Seriously, this case rips right into the entire system of legal fictions which our industry has erected, over the last century, starting with the use of the Panamanian register by US passenger ship owners in order to serve alcoholic drinks on board during Prohibition.

    I think this is going to be very important.

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