Asian shipowners reject EU proposal to pay for ship recycling licenses


The Asian Shipowners Association has rejected proposals to pay for EU ship recycling licenses, it said.

The European Commission is considering introducing a levy on all ships entering EU ports as a means of improving working and environmental conditions in developing countries where most ship recycling yards are located.

India, Bangladesh, China and Pakistan are global centers of ship breaking and recycling, with Alang in India being the largest in the world.

The levy will be returned at the end of a vessel’s working life only if the ship is recycled at a yard approved by the EC.

Given the periods of time possibly involved and that vessels’ owners could change, the process was “neither realistic nor practical”, the ASA said.

Instead, the ASA is committed to improving Asian recycling yards by encouraging member associations to use certified yards, or ones that make known their best practices to the industry.

It said the European Commission should concentrate its efforts on getting member states to ratify the HKC and recognize efforts being made by recycling yards in Asia to gain certification in compliance with IMO standards, “because the Convention will not enter into force unless some of ship recycling states in Asia ratify the Convention”.

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, or HKC, was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation at a conference in Hong Kong in 2009, but only a handful of the 15 ship-owning and ship scrapping nations representing 40% of the world’s gross tonnage have ratified it.

HKC is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment.

The EU Ship Recycling Regulation incorporates the provisions of HKC and establishes an EU-approved list of recycling facilities where EU-flagged vessels will have to be scrapped.

Ship recycling yards worldwide can apply to be included on this list. However, the guidelines in practice make it extremely challenging for these yards to be recognized under EU Regulation, ASA and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations said previously.

Source: Platts 

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