First Joint United Nations (UN) meeting on ship scrapping

For the first time since the issue of disposing of old ships was placed on the agenda of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the three United Nations (UN) agencies associated with action to curb the problems at recycling facilities met this week to discuss and evaluate the internationally coordinated effort in this area. Hosted by the IMO at its London headquarters, the IMO, the Basel Convention (BC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) formed a Joint Working Group on Ship Scrapping, tasked with reviewing the work programme and activities of each of the three bodies in the field of ship scrapping, breaking, dismantling as they variously call it.

INTERTANKO participated in the Joint Working Group meeting alongside the other members of the Industry Working Party on Ship Recycling.

One of the key outcomes of the meeting was a timetable and action list giving a clear path forward on the key recycling issues and providing, for the first time, a basis to clearly delineate between the expertise and responsibility of each of the three organisations.

The shipping industry has been drawing attention to the problem of defining a clear list of potentially hazardous materials as recommended under the IMO Guidelines. Now, while the IMO will develop a first list, the parties to the Basel Convention, acknowledged as the authority on hazardous materials, will be invited to comment on this list.

The issue of abandonment of ships also caused reason for concern among the delegates at the meeting and was seen as a priority item for further deliberation and action by both the Basel Convention and the IMO. 

Click here for an account of the three-day meeting.

The official report of the meeting will be made public on the IMO website shortly while a press release on the achievements of the meeting will be issued jointly by the three organisations. A link to the full report and the joint press release will be published in next week’s INTERTANKO Weekly News.

Contact: Tim Wilkins