GB No. 8, summer 1992


It has been two years since the imported cargo from Germany that, in the opinion of Polish environmentalists, has all the hallmarks of an industrial waste, was dumped in the Szczecin Docks.

For many years the Bolesław Ore Processing and Steelmaking Plant in Bukowno had been importing from Germany a semi-product that was used to obtain the zinc concentrate,subsequently exported to Germany; the resultant industrial waste being left behind in Poland. In response to the report compiled by the the National Board of Inspection, the customs clearance for the undesireable semi-product had been withheld and the cargo ordered back to Germany, to its original owner - HTA Company of Duisburg.

Strangely enough, no sooner did the argument over the export/import license flare up, that the German company formally ceased to operate. As it is, neither of the two partners, though each of them for different reasons, is now willing to assume the responsibility for the cargo in question.

The Bolesław Plant cannot be held responsible, as the cargo, in legal terms, does not fall within its jurisdiction unless it is shipped down to Bukowno, which so far, has never been the case.

During the meeting at the Polish Ministry of the Environment in September 1991, the Szczecin Port authorities were duly informed that the German environmental officials could not be relied upon to offer any assistance in this matter. According to the pertinent German regulations, once the cargo in question had left their country, it was automatically removed from their jurisdiction. By the same token, the cargo of industrial waste dumped in the Szczecin Docks cannot be sent back to Germany at all.

Tomasz Perkowski
ZB 11/92
transl. by Sigullum Ltd.

GB No. 8, summer 1992 | Contents