In a position paper published recently, European ship-owners called for an approval of the 2009 IMO Hong Kong Convention (HKC), which is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment.
European ship-owners also call for a smart application of the 2013 EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR) so that the latter acts as a lever by incentivising ship recycling yards to upgrade towards compliance with the HKC requirements.
EU ship-owners also issued recommendations to the shipping industry to ensure the proper recycling of their ships, especially during the interim period preceding the entry into force of the HKC and full application of the EU SRR.
Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary-General, said: “We need to ensure that the ‘Hong Kong Convention’ is ratified as soon as possible. It places clear obligations on all operators and on all IMO parties to make sure that ship recycling does not entail any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and the environment.”
More importantly EU ship-owners believe that the EU Ship Recycling Regulation can become a valuable tool in bringing the world’s biggest ship recycling yards closer to HKC standards by allowing them to apply for inclusion on the so-called EU List of approved recycling yards where EU flagged ships can be dismantled.
Verhoeven concluded: “The Commission needs to set in place an inclusive procedure which would allow all yards to apply for admission to the list. It would thus provide them with a strong incentive to change and improve their practices, bringing them closer to the HKC quality levels.
“We call on all ship-owners to act in good faith and draw up plans to recycle their ships in a socially responsible and transparent way. In the first instance, this means that ship-owners should ensure timely preparation or update of accurate ‘Inventories of Hazardous Materials’.”