MEPC 56 - update on ship recycling

Last week we reported on the developments at the IMO's Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 56) while awaiting final confirmation on some of the key issues which were still being discussed as we went to press.


The Working Group established to review the draft text of the Recycling Convention as well as the Guidelines made little headway on the details. Given only two days to undertake its task, the Working Group struggled to agree on some of the basic principles of the Convention.


In particular, there was some strong discussion and disagreement between states on the issue of establishing bilateral agreements between party states and non-party states. Some suggested that it was important to maintain an open market if all the ship operating states ratified the Convention without the key recycling states becoming parties. It was proposed that, under such circumstances, party states would need to make bilateral agreements with recycling states in order to still be able to recycle their ships. Conversely, other states argued that such an agreement, and clause included in the Convention, would discourage states from signing up to the Convention and therefore make the efforts of the IMO superfluous.


Although it was disappointing, from an industry perspective, that much of the practical detail relating to the hazardous materials inventory and the surveys was not discussed, the Committee agreed that these aspects, as well as others, must be reviewed and so agreed to establish a Working Group prior to the next MEPC meeting. This will be hosted by France and take place in early 2008.


Contact: Tim Wilkins