Wednesday, February 19, 2020

EU Regulation Aims to Negate the Horrific Practices Associated with Ship Breaking

Recycling is Essential but IMO Must Also Act
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – Regular readers will know that the horrors of ship breaking have caused death and misery, particularly on the unlicensed beaches of the Indian subcontinent. On the 31st December 2020 the European Union (EU) Ship Recycling Regulation (SRR) will come into force and it is time for ship owners to start taking notice.

Henceforth any materials deemed hazardous will need to be listed on a dedicated inventory with the intent that, at the time of destruction, the vessel can be recycled in a manner which will ensure the safety and health of workers as far as is humanly possible.

Currently there is a tendency for some companies to simply sell off their unwanted ships to the highest cash bidder, these tend to be unscrupulous scrap merchants who dismantle the vessel and dispose of the materials for profit, without thought nor care for their workers.

From now on any EU flagged vessel must be dismantled at a facility which operates on a much more environmental basis and appears on the approved list of ship recycling facilities. The introduction of the SRR speeds up the ratification of the Hong Kong convention, within the EU, whilst also implementing additional safety and environmental requirements.However as we have previously pointed out buyers use tactics to disguise their purchases.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) needs this kick in the pants to get behind the ratification of the convention, currently buyers can simply snap up their cash bargain, reflag the ship under whatever Flag of Convenience they choose and carry on as before, with little care for the lives of those at risk from the business.

Now the P&I group the Shipowners Club has produced a very useful infographic which identifies some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the SRR and is well worth any ship operator taking a look at.

Photo: Another hulk ends its days on the beach at Alang, India. Photo courtesy of Rahul Bambhaniya.