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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

2ND SHIP RECYCLING SUMMIT HELD IN ROTTERDAM

The Summit primarily focused on the progress over the last two years, the majority of the work having been carried out by the shipping industry, and the possible future path for ship recycling. One of the many interesting presentations was by the European Parliament’s representative reiterating that sub-standard shipping needs to be eradicated from the maritime world.

This second Summit dedicated to ship recycling saw all the key players once again drawn together to discuss the progress and potential future path for this issue. Bringing together owners, coastguards, environmental organisations, national ship owners associations, state environmental representatives and representatives from the ship breaking industry, the discussion primarily focused on the work that had been carried out over the past two years.

One of the more interesting presentations of the morning session was given by the European Parliament representative, Karla Peijs, who explained that the European Parliament felt sub-standard shipping needed to be excluded from the maritime world, especially in wake of disasters such as the Erika. A tenuous link was made to the issue at hand where Mrs Peijs explained that the European Parliament was indeed keen to see some sort of mandatory solution to the issue. She pointed out that a Code would not work for the 10% of the shipping industry which was sub-standard and who would not adhere to such a voluntary requirement.

The other main governmental bodies with an interest in the issue were also represented at the conference. Namely, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Basel Convention and the IMO. It was clear that the three United Nations bodies were taking the issue seriously and felt each organisation had a specific role to play, although the IMO would perhaps be the most appropriate co-ordinating organisation. The IMO representative, Michael Julian (Chairman of the Marine Environment Protection Committee, MEPC), also went further in supporting the initiative of the industry in its work on the Hazardous Materials Inventory and the Code of Practice. Mr Julian explained that for the IMO to develop mandatory requirements it would, based on other environmental regulations, take at least 10 years whereas the industry have come up with a solid platform [Code of Practice] to improve the situation in the space of 2 years.

General support was given to the industry presentation by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) who explained what had been achieved by the industry Working Party in the past two years. Namely, the development of the Hazardous Materials Inventory, development of the Code of Practice, assessment to changes in BIMCO’s SALESCRAP ’87 document, active participation in the IMO Correspondence Group and also participation in ILO Committee discussions.

INTERTANKO has been active at IMO on this issue and also in the Industry Working Group with the development of a Hazardous Materials Inventory. (Click here to download a copy of the Hazardous Materials Inventory)

The industry was also vocal following a controversial Greenpeace presentation in which Mr Gerd Leipold (Greenpeace Executive Director) stated that the industry was hiding from responsibilities in the issue and indeed had done the least to make any sort of commitment to improving the situation.

Mr Leipold went further to explain that the Code of Practice was weak and that the owners were distancing themselves from their responsibilities. He summed up stating that Greenpeace has two demands; i) all ships should be gas free before being delivered for recycling, and; ii) that the ships should also be free of all hazardous materials before being sent to the breaking yard. This sparked a great discussion in which the breaking yard representatives, ship owning representatives and a handful of state environmental and maritime bodies suggested that a more realistic approach was required if progress was to be made on the issue.

The next major advancement in the progress of this issue is expected to be at IMO’s next MEPC Committee in March of 2002. For further information please contact Tim Wilkins on e-mail tim.wilkins@intertanko.com