South Korean ocean carrier, Hanjin Shipping has been fined a staggering USD 852,000 for shipping a container of festering hazardous waste to the Brazilian port of Rio Grande.
The 22 tonne box was discovered at the port on August 3, by Brazil’s Environment Ministry, Ibama, after a tip-off that the container manifested as ‘clean plastic for recycling’ was not as it seemed.
The shipment, originally from the Czech Republic, arrived in Brazil via Hanjin’s liner service from Hamburg.
The Brazilian recycler – who has pleaded its innocence – was also fined USD227,000; the South Korean carrier has been given until August 26 to return the waste to Germany.
Ibama stepped up its intelligence to crack down on the illegal trade – which can reap massive profits on the otherwise USD250 per tonne disposal cost in Europe for the shady operators involved – after the discovery in July of last year of 90 containers of UK hospital waste brought in by an MSC vessel.
The size of this latest fine is yet another warning to carriers that they have to be especially vigilant in vetting their customers who regularly ship waste material for recycling.
Source: Containerisation International