Ship Recycling, a challenging aspect on the conscience of shipping, is finally being addressed by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).
The MEPC convened its 58th meeting and, amongst others, approved the final draft of the Convention on Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, to be considered for final approval in May next year at the Diplomatic Conference in Hong Kong.
How can shipowners and yards prepare for the new requirements? This was the key question discussed by more than 60 representatives of the shipyards, owners, and supply industry at Germanischer Lloyd's First Class Exchange Forum.
The new convention will provide regulations for the design, construction, operation and preparation for recycling of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling. Henning Gramann, Environmental Engineer and expert for Ship Recycling at Germanischer Lloyd (GL), gave an overview on the regulations and timings of the convention. Every new ship would have to enter service with a certified Inventory of Hazardous Material.
Recycling Facilities would need to comply with safety and environmental requirements to gain their authorization, e.g. handle and dispose of hazardous material safely. Ship Recycling States will be required to take effective measures to ensure that Ship Recycling Facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the convention.
An appendix to the convention will provide one list of hazardous materials whose installation or use in ships is prohibited or restricted and another one containing those hazardous materials which have to be documented.
In order to assist shipyards and shipowners in the implementation of the new convention a series of guidelines are being developed. The entry into force criteria for the convention (number of states required and percentage of gross merchant shipping tonnage plus consideration of ship recycling capacity) will be decided by the Diplomatic Conference when formally adopting the proposed convention and starting the ratification process.
If the convention enters into force in 2013 as expected, globally approximately 50,000 ships will fall under the new regulation.