Shipowners Reject Proposal for Ship Recycling License
Proposals to compel ships, regardless of flag, to pay for European Union ship recycling licenses when calling at E.U. ports, will undermine efforts by the IMO to improve working and environmental conditions in developing nations, where most ship recycling yards are located, says the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the ICS – which represent over 80 percent of world merchant tonnage – insist that the concept of the ship recycling license, developed by consultants for the European Commission, must be firmly rejected.
The concept was described in a report written by Ecorys, DNV-GL and the Erasmus University School of Law, and calls for ships regardless of their flag to not be allowed to call at any E.U. port without a ship recycling license. The aim is to incentivize sustainable ship recycling.
However, if proposals to establish an E.U. ship recycling fund are taken forward, they will cause serious problems with the E.U.’s trading partners, including China, India, Japan and the United States, says the ICS.
According to a proposal now being considered by the European Commission, the money that visiting ships would have to pay into a proposed E.U. Fund, including those flying the flag of non-E.U. nations, would only be returned at the end of the vessel’s working life, many years later, when it will probably have a different owner, and only on condition that the ship is recycled at a yard approved by the European Commission.
“As well as being unduly complex, widely impractical and very difficult for the E.U. to administer, the establishment of such a Fund will be an affront to the international community which has adopted the Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling, whose standards have already been incorporated into a similar EU Regulation” said ECSA Secretary General, Patrick Verhoeven.
ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe added “Such a draconian unilateral measure, especially if applied to non-E.U. ships, is likely to be seen by E.U. trading partners as anti-competitive interference into the conduct of international shipping. There is a real danger that other nations would apply retaliatory measures.”
ECSA and ICS argue that the E.U. should concentrate its efforts on getting E.U. Member States to ratify the IMO Hong Kong Convention and to recognize the efforts being made by recycling yards in Asia to gain certification in accordance with IMO standards. They insist these yards should be given a fair chance to be included in the E.U. list of approved recycling facilities that is being established under the E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation.
More details of the proposal are available here.