Wirana Speaks Out on Harrier Case
Wirana Shipping Corporation has issued a statement concerning the MV Harrier after paying a fine of NOK seven million ($767,000) to the Norwegian Maritime Authority for violations of the Pollution and Criminal Code.
The company says: “The sum paid in Norway by Wirana related to a non-judicial pre-action Penalty Notice issued by the Norwegian Police Authority consequent upon the Norwegian Environment Agency’s determination that the vessel should - despite a scheduled drydocking in Dubai with subsequent charter - be deemed ‘exported’ from Norway ultimately for demolition.
“Having come to that (in the vessel owners’ opinion, misconceived) conclusion, the NEA then deemed that the vessel thus fell within the definition of 'waste' under the EU Waste Shipment Regulations and should be detained pending fulfillment of the EUWSR’s preconditions to export of such 'waste.'
“The vessel’s owners (for whom Wirana acted as commercial managers only) strongly opposed that determination, but in the final event agreed, so as to facilitate release from detention, that the vessel be exported to Turkey for demolition (fully in compliance with the EUWSR).
“The vessel’s release notwithstanding, the aforementioned Penalty Notice was later served by the NPA on Wirana ex post facto, and, although it was clear that the Penalty Notice (issued without judicial pronouncement) could be challenged on numerous grounds, Wirana took a commercial decision to pay rather than challenge the same and thereby once and for all draw a line under the matter.
“There was no pollution incident nor any unlawful act knowingly committed by the owners of MV Harrier (or Wirana Shipping Corporation). The incident should serve as a salutary caveat to parties scheduling vessel sales’ delivery in European territorial waters where the local administration might, no matter how counter-intuitively, deem the vessel ultimately to be destined for demolition.”