HOW A UK COMPANY IS USING A CARIBBEAN TAX HAVEN TO CASH IN ON SCRAPPING TOXIC SHIPS IN ONE OF THE WORLD’S POOREST COUNTRIES

The Independent on 20th February reported that lucrative ship-scrapping trade sees poor Bangladeshi workers face ‘abhorrent conditions with abysmal environmental protections.  The newspaper says that the St Christopher and Nevis International Ship Registry Ltd (Skanreg), based in Romford in east London, is the official seller of shipping flags for St Kitts and Nevis.  A Panamanian corporate entity St Christopher Holdings & Investments SA owns 50% of Skanreg.  New figures from the NGO Shipbreaking Platform showed that almost half the 532 ships broken on the beaches of south Asia in 2018 flew flags of just 3 tiny offshore tax havens – the Comoros islands, Palau in the Pacific and St Kitts and Nevis (whose flag was found on 29); and all 3 flags are blacklisted by the EU due to their poor enforcement of international conventions.  In the past 3 years, 143 St Kitts and Nevis vessels have been scrapped on south Asia’s beaches.  EU rules have banned ships from being exported from European ports to south Asia since 2006; and a new Regulation was added in January 2019 so that it is now also illegal for any ship carrying a European flag to be sent to the south Asian beaches – which has been avoided by short-term re-registration through Skanreg.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ship-scrapping-skanreg-st-kitts-nevis-maritime-investigation-a8780796.html

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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