EU ship recycling rules seem protectionist: BIMCO

BIMCO Secretary General and CEO Andrew Frew said the EU approved list of recycling facilities would not drive health and safety and environmental improvements in Asian yards without a pathway to inclusion on the list. BIMCO Secretary General and CEO Andrew Frew said the EU approved list of recycling facilities would not drive health and safety and environmental improvements in Asian yards without a pathway to inclusion on the list.
Industry Database

BIMCO is calling for a clearer pathway for Asian shipyards to be added to the EU approved list of recycling facilities, and for EU based recycling facilities to subject to inspections.

The call accompanies the publication of a study commissioned by BIMCO that reveals that 17 of the approved recycling facilities on the EU list, or almost two-thirds of approved shipyards, are not yet operational for ship recycling, while just three of the 26 could recycle a Panamax or larger size vessel at present.

“The EU list is hard to take seriously. I called one of these “recycling shipyards” a few months ago, and they hadn’t even started building the yard yet,” says Angus Frew, BIMCO Secretary General & CEO. “The list looks a little like protectionism and clearly disadvantages European ship owners,” he added.  

The Regulation (EU) 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on ship recycling came into force on 1 January 2019. It requires EU flagged ships to be recycled at approved yards on the EU list. EU yards are apparently allowed on the list without fulfilling uniform criteria, whereas non-EU yards have to be inspected by European Commission appointed auditors according to clear criteria before inclusion on the list. So far, only two Turkish and one US yard have been included.

BIMCO believes that audits should consider and reward improvements to health, safety and environmental protection that have been achieved at facilities in Asia. Furthermore, there should also be actual inspection of the EU yards.

Currently, some Asian yards have waited two years for approval after submitting their application without any prospect or pathway to inclusion on the list.  

“BIMCO wants the facilities to improve their safety and environmental performance, but if there is no path for non-EU facilities to get on the EU list, the regulation will continue failing to achieve that objective, and simply be an act to protect the EU ship recycling market,” Frew says.

The Hong Kong Convention needs to enter into force as soon as possible, and it is essential that improvements are recognised also from the decision makers in Europe. India, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Turkey recycle 98% of all tonnage in the world, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

BIMCO commissioned a study from Marprof Environmental in February 2019. The result of the study “Report on the European List of Ship Recycling Facilities” is available on the BIMCO website.

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