Bangladeshi officials have ordered the country’s coast guard not to allow a suspected toxic ship into its waters.
Their move follow complaints that the vessel may contain harmful chemicals and poses a health and safety threat.
At present the ship, the MV Asia Union, has been anchored around eight nautical miles (12km) off the coast of the southern port of Chittagong.
Officials say agents of the ship have sought permission to bring it into Bangladesh for dismantling.
Environmental groups say it may possess hazardous substances including asbestos, toxic paints and chemical residues which are harmful to human health and the environment.
Bangladesh has become one of the world’s leading ship-breaking nations, with dozens of cargo ships and tankers from around the world being brought to yards – mostly in the Chittagong region – to be dismantled.