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Shipping company in the countercurrent

"We do not take a position on internal conflicts and have neither the opportunity nor the desire to debate this," says the director of the shipping company that their vessels have transported phosphate from Western Sahara.

In July last year, Bergens Tidende revealed that the shipping company Spar Shipping leases the ship "Spar Capella", which this summer transported phosphate in Western Sahara to the leading fertilizer producer Agrium, which the Government Pension Fund (the Oil Fund) owns. At that time, the CEO of the company Jarle Ellefsen stated that he neither knew about the situation in Western Sahara nor was aware that the ship was participating in trade in the area. He also stated that the companies would discuss their position internally in the Western Sahara case, and that he was aware that the authorities do not advise activity in the areas.

The Support Committee for Western Sahara has subsequently been in contact with the shipping company, which in January made it clear that they do not change their practice in the areas. In an email Ny Tid has been given access to, Ellefsen goes a long way in rejecting the problem: "The premise that one should exclude transports out of Western Sahara seems strange in the first place, because then all trade stops. What should one live on then? We do not take a position on internal conflicts, and have neither the opportunity nor the desire to debate this. We mainly rent out our ships, and what choices the charterers then make, will in principle be up to them – given that it is within the legal framework stipulated in the charter party at all times, "writes Ellefsen in the email.

The exemption. Spar Shipping is not a member of the Bergen Shipowners' Association, and the association's leader Øystein Meland therefore does not want to. . .

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Carima Tirillsdottir Heinesen
Former journalist for MODERN TIMES.

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