Global – The Asian Shipowners Association (ASA) has rejected proposals to introduce payments for EU ship recycling licences. The European Commission is considering introducing a levy on all ships entering EU ports in the hope of improving related working and environmental conditions in developing countries.
The proposed levy would be returned at the end-of-life stage when a ship has been recycled at a yard approved by the European Commission. But the ASA argues that this concept is ‘neither realistic nor practical’ given the periods of time potentially involved and the fact that a vessel’s ownership could change.
According to the ASA, it should be a priority for the European Commission to encourage EU member states to ratify the Hong Kong Convention. It should also recognise that Asian recycling yards are committed to gaining certification in compliance with International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards. The ASA adds that ‘the Convention will not enter into force unless some of ship recycling states in Asia ratify the Convention’.
The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships was adopted by the IMO at a conference in Hong Kong seven years ago. Since then, it has been ratified by only a couple of the 15 ship-owning and ship-scrapping nations that represent 40% of the world’s gross tonnage.