PCB ship sent back to France

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Brussels (AFP) - Belgium decided yesterday to send a consignment of toxic chemical waste from Australia back to Le Havre in western France after the ship carrying the cargo docked at Antwerp.

The Maria Laura, an Australian-chartered ship carrying 18 tons of polychlorinated biphenyls (BCPs), tried to dock at Le Havre on Tuesday. When the ship's crew heard of demonstrations by unions and environmentalists at the French port, they set sail for Belgium, Belgian authorities said.

The Belgian Environment Minister, Laurette Onkelinx, decided yesterday to send the ship and cargo back to Le Havre, having received confirmation from Paris that France had authorised the delivery.