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Order of the Supreme Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 657 of 1995 in the matter of Research Foundation for Science,
September, 11th 2012
 

F.No. 405/2/2001-Cus.III

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

Central Board of Excise & Customs

 

229-A, North Block, New Delhi,

4th September, 2012.

To

All Chief Commissioners of Customs/Customs (P),

All Commissioners of Customs/Customs (P),

All Chief Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise,

All Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise,

All Directors General under CBEC.

 

Sir / Madam,

 

Subject: Order of the Supreme Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 657 of 1995 in the matter of Research Foundation for Science, Technology & Natural Resource Policy Vs Union of India (UOI), relating to Ship-breaking- regarding.

****

 

            Kind attention is invited to the Honble Supreme Court order dated 06.07.2012 and 30.07.2012 in the Writ Petition No. 657 of 1995 relating to Ship Breaking. At present in India the ship breaking activity is regulated by the directives of the Supreme Court of India in their ruling in W.P. (Civil) No. 657 of 1995 vide Order dated 6th September, 2007. A draft Ship Recycling Code is being formulated by the Ministry of Steel, in terms of: (i) the directions contained in the Supreme Court Order of 2007, (ii) the recommendations of Technical Experts Committee (set up by the Supreme Court), and; (iii) the requirements of various stakeholders, which include the concerned Ministries/ Departments, Port authorities, Pollution Control Boards and Recycling Industry. 

 

2.         The proposed Ship Recycling Code is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment. However, until the code comes into play, various recommendations of the CTE shall be operative by virtue of the Honble Supreme Court order dated 6th September, 2007. As directed by the Honble Supreme Court vide the said order, the officials of Gujarat Maritime Board alongwith officials of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, the Customs Department, National Institute of Occupational Health and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board shall oversee the ship breaking arrangements and implementation of the recommendations of CTE until further orders.  The Collector of the concerned District shall be associated when the actual dismantling takes place. These authorities shall also vet the documents mentioned in various chapters of the report to be submitted by the ship owner for the purpose of grant of permission for ship breaking.

 

3.         In this regard the following instructions are issued for guidance and compliance by the field formations:

 

A.            Process for Anchoring:

 

I.              As per para 3.1 of the Supreme Courts order dated 06.09.2007 the ship owner / recycler / importer should submit the following documents well on advance of the arrival of the ship for recycling for desk review by the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) in consultation with Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and Customs Department: (a) Name of the Ship, (b) IMO Identification No. (c) Flag (d) Call Sign (e) Name of the Master of the ship and his nationality (e) List of the crew (f) GRT / NRT /LDT of the ship with supporting documents.

 

Assessment of hazardous waste / hazardous substances: In the structure of the ship, and on Board as far as practicable by reference to the ships drawings, technical specifications, ships stores, manifest, in consultation with the ship builder, equipment manufactures and others as appropriate.  In the case of ships of special concern, in addition to identification and marking of all areas containing hazardous waste / substances would also be necessary.

 

II.          On receipt of all the documents listed in A.I above, from the ship owner / recycler / importer, the proper authorised officer of Customs will undertake the desk review for recommending permission for anchorage to GMB within two working days.  While doing the said officer should keep in there under, other instructions issued under the Standing Orders / Public Notices and other allied Acts, from time to time.

 

III.         In case, the ship is permitted for anchoring, the proper authorised officer of Customs shall forward the Desk Review report/opinion to the Port Officer, GMB, alongwith a copy of thereof to the ship owner / recycler /importer. In case of refusal for anchoring of the ship, the proper authorised officer of Customs shall forward the desk review report / opinion, assigning specific reasons for such refusal to the port officer, GMB with a copy thereof to the ship owner / recycler / importer.  He shall also send a copy of the desk review report / opinion to the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner of Customs.

 

IV.        In case the ship owner /recycler / importer feels aggrieved by the refusal for anchoring, he may file review application before the concerned Assistant Commissioner / Deputy commissioner, Customs, who shall dispose of the review application within three working days from the date of receipt of review application.  Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner may hear the Ship owner / recycler / importer personally, if they so desire.  In case, the ship owner / recycler/ importer feels aggrieved by the order of review passed by the Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner he may file an appeal before joint / Additional Commissioner in charge, shall dispose of the same within a period of five working days from the date of receipt of appeal, after dully following the principles of natural justice. 

 

B.         Process of Beaching:

 

I.          The modalities of beaching permission is discussed in para 3.2 of Honble Supreme Court Order.  At the anchorage the ship should be boarded by officers of Customs and the Customs officer should physically verify the data / submissions provided by the ship owner / importer, which was submitted for desk review along with representatives of other agencies.  On the basis of verification report submitted by the boarding officer, proper authorised officer of Customs in charge shall decide whether the ship can be permitted for beaching or not.  Before giving the permission for beaching the proper authorised officer of Customs shall keep in mind all relevant provisions of Customs Act, 1962, Rules and Regulations made there under and Standing Orders and Public Notices issued on the subject of ship breaking and other relevant allied acts from time to time.

 

II.          In case, the ship is permitted for beaching, the proper authorised officer of Customs in charge shall forward his report / opinion to the port Officer, GMB, alongwith a copy thereof to the ship owner / recycler / importer. In case the proper authorised officer of Customs refuse permission for beaching, he should forward his report with specific reasons for such refusal to port Officer of GMB and shall endorse a copy of this report to jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner, Bhavnagar and Ship Owner / Recycler importer.  In case the ship owner / recycler / importer feels aggrieved by the decision of proper authorised officer of Customs the ship Owner / Recycler / Importer he may file review application before jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner, who shall pass order on review application within 3 days from the receipt of review application after dully following the principles of natural justice.

 

 

III.         If the Ship Owner / Recycler / Importer feel aggrieved by the review order passed by the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner, he may file appeal before the jurisdictional Additional Commissioner/ Joint Commissioner, who shall dispose the application within a period of five working days from the date of receipt of appeal, application after dully following the principles of natural justice.

 

IV.        In case of ships of special concern i.e. ships which are mentioned in Para 3 of the Supreme Court judgment, the proper authorised officer of Customs should himself participate in the boarding and process of physical verification of the data / submissions provided by the ship owner / recycler / importer which was submitted for desk review along with representatives of other agencies. The proper authorised officer of Customs should submit his verification report to the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner.  The permission for beaching of the special concern vessels should be accorded by the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner after considering the verification report received. In such cases, the process of review and appeal shall be carried about by the jurisdictional Joint / Additional Commissioner.

 

C.            The jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner, and the proper authorised officer of Customs, shall also associate with the other agencies in overseeing the ship-breaking arrangements and implementing the recommendations of CTE as directed by the Honble Supreme Court until further orders.

 

4.         All concerned authorities shall ensure strict compliance of the Honble Supreme Court Orders and the procedure laid down in the order dated 06.09.2007, before permitting entry of any vessel into Indian Territorial Waters for breaking purposes.

 

5.         Difficulty, if any, faced in implementation of these instructions may be brought to the notice of the Board immediately.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

(Subodh Singh)

OSD (Customs), Tariff Unit

Fax: 011 - 23092173

 
 
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