Have you heard that the EU has recently expanded the list of environmental criminal offences? Starting with nine in 2008 and raising it to 20 in 2024, the Council has outlined tougher sanctions for those who harm the environment and/or people.

According to the newly cleared directive, such crimes as the illegal recycling of polluting components of ships and serious breaches of legislation on chemicals will be considered criminal offences and may be punished by fines and/or imprisonment. The new directive also introduces “qualified offence” which will be put in place when an offence is committed intentionally and causes the destruction of or irreversible or long-lasting damage to the environment.

The EU states may also require the offenders to reinstate the environment or compensate for the damage, excluding them from access to public funding or withdrawing their permits or authorizations. So far, the new law only applies to the member states; however, they can choose to extend their jurisdiction to offences that have been committed outside their territory. While the new legislation is not specific to ship recycling, it does name it as an example of an environmental offence that can be pursued by criminal law.

Do you think this will help to make ship recycling more transparent? Let us know your thoughts on the positive changes in ship recycling by reaching out to us!

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