The European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA), which represents the national shipowners’ associations of the EU and Norway, has stated that ship recycling yards in countries outside the EU should get recognition “to raise standards worldwide and respond to demand”.
The announcement was made today (January 13, 2017) after the European Commission’s first edition of the EU list of approved ship recycling facilities was released, which only features yards situated in Europe and reaches under 30% of the EU’s own recycling capacity target.
Once the EU Ship Recycling Regulation effectively applies, all vessels sailing under an EU flag will eventually be required to use an approved ship recycling facility.
Applications have been received from yards in third countries but these are still being reviewed as site inspections will be conducted to check their credentials.
ECSA believes that giving these yards EU recognition will encourage others to raise their standards, apply for inclusion and ensure sufficient and adequate capacity on the EU list.
It added that this would not only impact the volume of ships but also the size of those that can be dismantled and facilitate a swift entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, creating a flag neutral level playing field in the global ship recycling market.
The first edition of the European list of ship recycling facilities includes 18 European recycling yards that are deemed safe for workers and environmentally sound, in accordance with the relevant requirements of the 2013 EU Ship Recycling Regulation.
Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, said: “Whilst the EU list can serve to raise ship recycling standards worldwide and respond to recycling demand, the current list clearly shows the need to include third country yards and especially those that already meet the international standards laid down in the Hong Kong Convention for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling.”
“Approximately 150 container vessels were sent for recycling in 2016, the current EU list would cater for only 16 smaller container vessels, taking into consideration limitation of EU yards in terms of lenght and vessel draft. And that is just for one type of vessels. We thus strongly encourage the Commission to enlarge the list to non-EU facilities as soon as possible.”
The perils that can be faced through lack of regulations have been clearly shown in the ongoing problems faced at the Gadani ship-breaking yard in Pakistan, which faced renewed calls for action on safety after a fire broke out on Monday (January 9, 2017).