Maritime Agency Consults On Ship Recycling

The dismantling of ships is, at present, sustainable from a narrow economic point of view, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency says, but the costs to human health and the environment are high.

Obsolete ships are often sold to facilities on tidal beaches and under unacceptable conditions from the point of view of safety and environmental protection, it says.

Existing EU legislation prohibits ships from being recycled in facilities in non-OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) – preventing UK flagged vessels from using suitable yards and securing a reasonable financial return.

However, there is widespread non-compliance of the existing regulations, with many ship-owners electing to reflag their ship to a non-EU company just before the ship’s end of life.

Additionally, the limitation of approved recycling facilities to just OECD countries means there is insufficient recycling capacity to meet demand.

They also include other measures to improve compliance by attempting to reduce the cost differential between compliance and non-compliance. In the longer term, the aim is to reduce significantly and in a sustainable way, the negative impacts of ship dismantling – on human health and the environment – without creating unnecessary economic burdens.

The Agency says Government intervention is required to ensure that sufficient numbers of approved recycling facilities are available for UK flagged ships, and to discourage evasion by ships using sub-standard dismantling facilities.

EU Regulation No. 1257/2013 (the “EU Ship Recycling Regulation”) provides ship owners more flexibility in terms of locations to recycle ships, allowing them to be processed in any approved facility that meets certain minimum standards (regardless of whether they are in the OECD or not), the Agency says.

They also include other measures to improve compliance by attempting to reduce the cost differential between compliance and non-compliance. In the longer term, the aim is to reduce significantly and in a sustainable way, the negative impacts of ship dismantling – on human health and the environment – without creating unnecessary economic burdens.

The EU Ship Recycling Regulation is based on the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, and is expected to enter into force at the end of 2017.

The purpose of the Hong Kong Convention is to address concerns about safety, health, and environmental damage in the ship recycling industry by regulating the whole lifecycle of the vessel. Although the Convention was adopted in May 2009 it is unlikely to come into force before 2020.

The EU Regulation is intended to put member states in a position to comply with the Hong Kong Convention before this date. As the EU Regulation has direct application, the purpose of this SI is to support the EU Regulation by designating responsibility for the carrying out of certain functions and providing enforcement powers.

For the full consultation CLICK HERE


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