Engineering Company Fined For Importing Asbestos

A Sydney-based engineering company has recently plead guilty to two counts of importing asbestos into Australia, resulting in the Perth Magistrates Court ordering $64,000 in fees and costs be paid. Clyde Bergemann Senior Thermal (CBST), a German engineering company with international arms, stood accused of illegally importing products containing asbestos into Australia. This month, Clyde Bergemann Senior Thermal plead guilty to two counts of importing goods into Australia which were not prohibited by law. As a result, the Sydney-based Australian arm of the international company was fined $ 64,000 in costs and fees by a Perth Magistrates court. Clyde Bergemann Australia Pty Limited was originally established in 1962 as Senior Economizers, with a primary focus on boiler economizers. Since that time, Clyde Bergemann Senior Thermal began specialized in engineering activities related to thermal engineering, heat treatment, and mining. The company’s website states that Clyde Bergemann Senior Thermal is recognized as “an innovator of waste heat recovery” as well as “clean energy solutions” for power generators and Australian industries. Clyde Bergemann Australia Pty Limited imported 62 machinery parts from China to Fremantle in 2009 related to the development of an Australian power plant. These parts were found to contain chrysotile asbestos, also called white asbestos, by Customs and Border Protection. Chrysotile asbestos is the most commonly seen form of asbestos today. It’s considered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a human carcinogen and has been associated with a number of serious medical conditions, including pleural abnormalities related to asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. This form of asbestos is also one of the hazardous materials currently being recommended for inclusion in an international treaty, known as the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed consent. This treaty is designed to restrict hazardous materials from global trade. Under Australian’s Customs Regulations of 1956, Prohibited Imports; importation of goods containing white asbestos is already prohibited due to adverse health effects associated with it. Again, in June 2010, Clyde Bergemann Australia Pty Limited imported 60 more machinery parts for the development of the same power plant. These parts traveling from China to Fremantle were also found to contain chrysotile asbestos. References:
  • AAP Staff Writer. (May 7, 2012). “Engineers fined for importing asbestos.” Retrieved on May 7, 2012, from 9 News.
  • Orr, Aleisha. (May 7, 2012). “Asbestos importer slapped with $64,000 fine.” Retrieved on May 7, 2012, from The Sydney Morning Herald.
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