The Marine Environment Protection Committee
(MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization
(IMO) considered the first draft of a proposed new international instrument on ship recycling when it met for its 54th session from 20-24 March. Other issues on the agenda included ballast water management and air pollution from ships. The Committee also adopted a number of amendments to the MARPOL Convention.
Recycling of ships
The MEPC made progress in developing the draft text of a mandatory instrument providing globally-applicable ship recycling regulations for international shipping and for recycling activities. A Working Group on Ship Recycling met during the session to work on the draft text and discuss related issues. The proposed instrument would include articles and an annex with regulations for safe and environmentally-sound recycling of ships, covering requirements for ships, requirements for ship recycling facilities and reporting requirements.
A work plan for the further development of the draft legally-binding instrument was developed by the working group and agreed by the Committee. It would see the draft further developed during 2006-2007 with a view to completion in time for its consideration and adoption in the 2008-2009 biennium.
A correspondence group was established to carry out that task and to develop a provisional list of necessary guidelines. It will report to the next session of MEPC in October 2006.
The MEPC also considered the report of the second session of the Joint International Labour Organization (ILO)/IMO/Basel Convention Working Group on Ship Scrapping which met in December 2005 in Geneva. The views of the group were taken into account by the MEPC Working Group on Ship Recycling and it was noted that the Committee would continue co-operating with ILO and the Basel Convention on this subject.