One-Third Of Ships Sold To South Asia This Quarter Changed Flag Weeks Before Hitting Beach

Vessels are recycled in facilities that ensure clean, safe, and just practices that provide workers with decent jobs. Vessels will be toxic-free and no longer cause harm to workers, local communities, or the environment at end-of-life.

To act as a catalyst for change by effectively advocating for clean, safe, and just ship recycling globally. This necessitates denouncing dirty and dangerous practices, such as the dumping of end-of-life vessels on the beaches of developing countries. Our commitment to finding sustainable global solutions is based on the respect of human and workers’ rights and the principles of environmental justice, producer responsibility, ‘polluter pays’, and clean production.

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AUGUST 2021 | S A Q U # 26

In this quarterly publication, we inform about the shipbreaking practices in South Asia, providing an overview of accidents that took place on the beaches of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, relevant press media as well as research. We aim to raise public awareness about the many negative impacts of shipbreaking in South Asia as well as developments aimed at the protection of workers’ rights and the environment.


There were a total of 258 ships broken in the second quarter of 2021. Of these, 197 ships were sold to the beaches of South Asia, where conditions are known to put workers ’ lives and the environment at risk. United Arab Emirates ship owners sold the most ships to South Asian yards, closely followed by Greek, Singaporean and South Korean owners.

2 Shipbreakings undergoing
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Almost one-third of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the registries of Comoros, Gabon, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach. These flags are not typically used during the operational life of ships and offer ‘last voyage registration discounts.

They are particularly popular with the middlemen scrap-dealers that purchase vessels cash from ship owners, and are grey- and black-listed due to their poor implementation of international maritime law.

View/Download full version of our quarterly report


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