Europe – The European Commission has presented a proposal for new shipbreaking legislation, which focuses on EU-registered vessels. If accepted, owners of large commercial ships will be required to maintain a certified inventory of any hazardous materials.
Bidding to implement a more stringent environmental approach in order to identify illegally scrapped vessels more easily, the Commission intends to adopt several legislative measures – all of which are based on the 2009 Hong Kong Convention covering ship recycling. Some existing requirements are even set to be extended.
Key impacts on the industry would include careful tracking of dangerous on-board substances such as asbestos, PCBs and oil sludge, and a requirement to reduce these levels before the vessel is subjected to the recycling process. Moreover, any of the companies involved would be required to contact member states if a ship is to be scrapped and would be held responsible for ensuring this takes place in an EU-approved facility.
The listed demands would be expected to cost ship owners around Euro 22 million in 2015 and a total of Euro 112 million by 2020. The Commission does not see this as a cause for objection as it believes industry costs will drop significantly once the Hong Kong Convention enters force.
The European Commission emphasises that small, non-ocean-going ships and military vessels will not be subject to the new regulation, as they are commonly dismantled in the EU or in OECD countries.
For more information, visit: www.ec.europa.eu
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