Ship recycling takes the lead at IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) will meet next week for its 54th session at the IMO headquarters in London. INTERTANKO will be sending a delegation to cover a host of major environmental issues including ballast water management, air emissions, particularly sensitive sea areas (PSSAs) and ship recycling. 

It is hardly surprising, with the momentum gained by the issue last year and with the substantial recent media coverage of the Clemenceau, that ship recycling will be a key issue during the week-long meeting. A significant paper submitted by Norway provides a draft text for an international, legally-binding instrument. INTERTANKO, together with the other associations in the Industry Working Party on Ship Recycling, has submitted a commentary on the Norwegian draft. Giving general support for the draft text proposed by Norway, the industry paper also draws attention to the need to ensure that recycling facilities achieve a minimum standard in terms of environmental management and worker health and safety. Using authorised facilities around the world will give owners the confidence to send a ship for recycling in the knowledge that the process will be handled correctly and meet the standards expected of other international industries.  

While the ship recycling debate will be the main focus of the media and the Committee alike, other important matters will also be addressed during the week. In addition to air emissions and PSSAs, there will be the continued efforts to complete the guidelines which complement the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention - focus will be on the approval of ballast treatment systems which use ‘active substances’ (chemicals etc.) to assist in ensuring the ballast water discharged meets the requirements laid down by the IMO Convention. EU Member States and the chemical industry have made significant submissions on this matter and will be the key players in this debate. 

A full overview of the outcome of this meeting will be provided in the coming Weekly NEWS bulletins. 

Contact: Tim Wilkins