Denmark/Sweden – According to a recent Danish EU presidency proposal, the draft regulation on ship recycling would prove most effective if it were to apply two years after its publication in the official journal rather than one year as previously suggested by the European Commission.
It has also asked that the proposal relating to an inventory of hazardous materials on board ships should apply seven years after publication of the rules. The Commission confirms this is a valuable objective and expresses a preference for industry to meet the requirement within six years.
The proposal also suggests removing the existing need for non-EU ships to maintain a similar inventory whenever they make use of a port within the EU. Additional points raised include improving the condition of inventory certificates, and translating recycling plans and reporting criteria for the calculation of fines.
However, Swedish Member of Parliament (MEP) Carl Schlyter has said he is not entirely satisfied with this proposal. Speaking with ENDS, he voiced explicit concerns regarding the exceptional position still enjoyed by today’s military vessels, urging that their exemption should be lifted. ‘They are generally very old when finally scrapped; therefore, any secrets that a hazardous substance inventory might reveal would have become obsolete long ago,’ he stated.
Another criticism relates to the common practice of simply re-flagging ships while at sea in order to escape EU-bound responsibilities. The MEP said he wants to make sure the law ‘is free of loopholes’ this time around, suggesting it might prove beneficial to grant ship owners a financial incentive to comply with the legislation.
His recommendations will be formally introduced to the European Parliament’s Environment Committee this October, with a vote following in February of next year. It is feared that attempts to further weaken the proposal will come during the EU presidential term of Cyprus, a country which possesses a relatively large fleet.
To view the proposal, visit: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/ships/pdf/Ship_Recycling_reg_en.pdf