An inter-industry working party - comprising the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, Intercargo, Intertanko, ITOPF, ITF and OCIMF - has launched an Industry Code of Practice on Ship Recycling, outlining the measures which shipowners should be prepared to take prior to disposing of redundant ships. Speaking at the launch in London, the chairman of the working party, ICS Secretary General, Chris Horrocks
, said "The Code is a concerted response to the concerns that have been raised about the working and environmental conditions in some of the world's ship recycling facilities, almost all of which are located in developing countries. While the shipping industry cannot determine the conditions in the recycling yards, it can take some practical steps to reduce the risks associated with the dismantling of ships."
In addition to covering the measures that shipowners might take prior to the delivery of ships at recycling yards, such as the cleaning and certification of tanks to hot work and entry standards, the Code incorporates an Inventory of Potentially Hazardous Materials on Board, intended for completion on a ship's last voyage prior to being broken up. Copies of the inventory, suitable for completion, can be downloaded at www.marisec.org/recycling .
Mr Horrocks emphasized that the production of the Code should be seen as a first step:
"We intend to pursue the dialogue with all the parties that have responsibility for ship recycling standards, both inter-governmentally and at industry level.
For instance, we aim to discuss with shipbuilders the need to design ships with their ultimate disposal in mind, and perhaps to develop a "green passport" for new ships, detailing the materials used in their construction and up-dated as necessary during the working life of the vessel.
We aim to continue discussions with the ship recycling yards, and perhaps encourage them to develop their own code in relation to shore-based practices.
Above all, we have to emphasize that ship recycling is not only a necessary but also an essentially "green" industry which plays
an essential part in the elimination of ships at the end of their working lives."