This cargo from occupied Western Sahara is now to arrive France

The second confirmed shipment of products from Western Sahara into the EU is a fact. Destination: Normandy, France.
Published: 10.02 - 2017 12:56Printer version    
On 11 February 2017, a cargo of salt is to arrive the city of Rouen, France. The salt was observed loaded onto the vessel BBC Magellan in the port of El Aaiun, occupied Western Sahara, on 4 February. The photo above was taken as the loading took place.

This is the second transport of goods from Western Sahara into the European Union this year, and for the second time, the goods end up in Normandy, France. In January, the company Olvea took in a large quantity of fish oil from the occupied territory into Fécamp, Normandy.

It is not known whom the client of salt consignment is. In other countries in Europe, de-icing salt is normally used by the municipalities or the state for spreading on slippery winter roads. The imports are often done by either a private or a public owned importing company.

bbcmaghellan_b_350.jpgEven though it is clear that the vessel loaded the salt cargo at the harbour of El Aaiun in occupied Western Sahara, it is not known exactly where the salt itself was produced. Either it is from the production site at Oum Dbaa in occupied Western Sahara, or from Akfhennir in very south of Morocco. From what WSRW understands, the latter site has used El Aaiun harbour as port of exports in the past.

The vessel is called BBC Magellan (IMO 9569528), sailing under a Antigua & Bermuda flag, operated by the German shipping company BBC Chartering.

According to the local harbour authorities (or download), the agent that is handling the imports is Sea Invest France, a local branch of the Belgian company Sea Invest.

On 8 February 2017, the two French MEPs José Bové, and Karima Delli requested in a letter the French minister of finance to intervene.

As late as in 31 January 2017, the Danish salt importer Danske Vejsalt explained it does not intend to purchase any further salt from Western Sahara.

As BBC Magellan entered the port of El Aaiun, its draught was 4.4 meters. When it departed, the draught was 5.9 meters. BBC Magellan is a 5.344 DWT cargo vessel.


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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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