IMO considers implementation of Recycling Guidelines

This week’s meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) was the first since the Guidelines on Ship Recycling were adopted by the IMO’s Assembly in December 2003. Together with these voluntary Guidelines, a list of future actions was also approved by the Assembly, and it is this that is now the focus for the Working Group that has been established by the Committee.

Following a brief discussion by the Committee, the Working Group spent two days looking at how the guidelines could be implemented effectively and practically. The main focus was the development of a Ship Recycling Plan. A draft proposal developed by the Working Group stated that the plan should include aspects related to the health and safety of yard workers and crew, the environmental management of the wastes on the vessel and at the yard, together with a process plan taking into account the marking of hazardous materials, pre-cleaning and hot work certification. According to the Guidelines, the Plan is to be a document developed and agreed by both the recycling yard and the ship’s owner.

Technical input and practical experience is now required to assist in the development of the Ship Recycling Plan and INTERTANKO’s Environmental Committee will take this onto its agenda for its next meeting later this year. INTERTANKO will also participate in the correspondence group established to work in between this and the next MEPC meeting in October this year.

Other aspects focused on by the Working Group and now sent for further consideration to the Correspondence Group include: the standardisation of the hazardous material inventory together with guidelines for the quantification and location of the hazardous material; developing a set of criteria for ships to be declared ‘ready for recycling’; developing a standard format for the Green Passport, ensuring that the Green Passport is included in the shipbuilding contract; encouraging recycling states to provide to the IMO information on recycling yards and their capabilities within their countries.

Contact: Tim Wilkins