IMO Finalizes Ships Recycling Convention

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved the text of the draft ship recycling convention for adoption at a conference in 2009, when it met for its 58th session at IMOs London headquarters.

The MEPC conducted an article-by-article and regulation-by-regulation review of the draft new convention providing globally applicable regulations for ship recycling and for recycling activities. The text will now be circulated for consideration and adoption by a diplomatic conference to be held in , from 11 to 15 May 2009.

The new convention will provide regulations for the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships; the operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner; and the establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements.

Ships to be sent for recycling will be required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, specific to each ship, while an appendix to the convention will provide a list of hazardous materials whose installation or use in ships is prohibited or restricted in shipyards, ship repair yards, and ships of parties to the future convention. Ships will have to have an initial survey to verify the inventory of hazardous materials, surveys during the life of the ship, and a final survey prior to recycling.

Ship recycling yards will be required to provide a Ship Recycling Plan, to specify the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory. Parties will be required to take effective measures to ensure that ship recycling facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the convention.

A series of guidelines are being developed to assist in the implementation of the new convention while the entry into force criteria for the convention (number of States required and percentage of gross merchant shipping tonnage) will be decided by the 2009 conference when formally adopting the proposed convention.

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