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Friday September 30th, 2022

Sri Lanka arrests X-Press Pearl captain under pollution law, seeks IMO expertise

INTERNATIONAL EXPERTISE: Justice Minister Ali Sabry says Sri Lanka has sought international expertise for the X-Press Pearl case.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka arrested the captain of MV X-Press Pearl, a ship which caught fire after travelling with a leaking acid container and over 800 tonnes of alkali on board and is partially sunk off Colombo Port.

The captain was arrested under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and released on bail.

Sri Lanka has made an interim claim from the ship’s insurers for 40 million US dollars for cash costs and immediate damages.

Assessments are being made by five separate committees on the broader losses.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry said UN expertise had been sought.

“On the 15th three experts will come and give us advice on the whole process,” he said.

X-Press Pearl was carrying several classes of dangerous goods designated by the International Maritime Organization (IMDG).

Questions have been raised whether there were loading conflicts and storing acid above a cargo of alkali was permitted under IMDG segregation requirements.

The ship was carrying over 800 tonnes of Sodium Hydroxide and some other dangerous cargo.

The ship after leaving Jebel Ali, discovered a leak in the acid container but Port Hamad in Qatar and Hazira in India did not help offload or re-pack the container.

It is also not known who issued the packing certificate for the acid container. (Colombo/June14/2021)

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