The European Commission recently published its first edition of the EU list of approved ship recycling facilities. At this stage, it only features yards situated in Europe and reaches under 30% of the EU’s own recycling capacity target.
For European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), this demonstrates clearly that third country ship recycling yards should get EU recognition to raise standards worldwide and respond to demand.
The first edition of the European list of ship recycling facilities includes 18 European recyling yards that are deemed safe for workers and environmentally sound, in accordance with the relevant requirements of the 2013 EU Ship Recycling Regulation.
The Commission received applications from yards in third countries as well but these applications are still being reviewed. Site inspections will be conducted to check their credentials followed by a decision in 2017 on their inclusion in the list.
“Whilst the EU list can serve to raise ship recycling standards worldwide and respond to recycling demand, the current list clearly shows the need to include third country yards and especially those that already meet the international standards laid down in the Hong Kong Convention for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling”, said Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General.
The IMO Hong Kong Convention has already a profound impact on the ground as recycling yards have taken action to comply with its measures, even when the Convention itself is not yet in force. This is notably the case for a number of yards in Alang, India.
Giving these yards EU recognition will encourage others to raise their standards and apply for inclusion as well. It will furthermore ensure sufficient and adequate capacity on the EU list, not just in terms of volume, but also in terms of the size of ships that can be dismantled. In turn, this will facilitate a swift entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, creating a flag neutral level playing field in the global ship recycling market.
“Approximately 150 container vessels were sent for recycling in 2016, the current EU list would cater for only 16 smaller container vessels, taking into consideration limitation of EU yards in terms of lenght and vessel draft. And that is just for one type of vessels. We thus strongly encourage the Commission to enlarge the list to non-EU facilities as soon as possible”, Patrick Verhoeven concluded.
All vessels sailing under an EU flag will eventually be required to use an approved ship recycling facility, once the EU Ship Recycling Regulation effectively applies.
This will either be six months after the date that the combined maximum annual ship recycling output of the ship recycling facilities included in the European list constitutes not less than 2.5 million light displacement tonnes (LDT), or on 31 December 2018, whichever date occurs first.