Only nine shipyards of the 26 on the EU list of approved recycling facilities are realistically open for ship recycling – and only three of those are capable of recycling a Panamax size vessel, according to the findings of a new study commissioned by BIMCO.
“The EU list is hard to take seriously,” says Angus Frew, BIMCO Secretary General & CEO. “I called one of these ‘recycling shipyards’ a few months ago, and they hadn’t even started building the yard yet.”
”The list look a little like protectionism and clearly disadvantages European ship owners.”
The Regulation (EU) 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on ship recycling came into force on 1 January 2019.
It requires EU flagged ships to be recycled at approved yards on the EU list.
EU yards are, according to BIMCO, allowed on the list without fulfilling uniform criteria, whereas non-EU yards have to be inspected by European Commission appointed auditors using clear criteria.
So far, only two Turkish and one US yard have been included.
BIMCO argues that audits should consider and reward improvements to health, safety and environmental protection that have been achieved at facilities in Asia – and that there should be actual inspections of EU yards.
The study reports shows how some Asian yards have waited two years for approval after submitting their application without any prospect or pathway to inclusion on the list.
“BIMCO wants the facilities to improve their safety and environmental performance, but if there is no path for non-EU facilities to get on the EU list, the regulation will continue failing to achieve that objective, and simply be an act to protect the EU ship recycling market,” says Frew.
“The Hong Kong Convention needs to enter into force as soon as possible, and it is essential that improvements are also recognised from the decision makers in Europe.”
India, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Turkey recycle 98% of all tonnage in the world, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
BIMCO commissioned the study from Marprof Environmental in February 2019.
The study – Report on the European List of Ship Recycling Facilities – is available on the BIMCO website (go to: https://bit.ly/2U6TcRc).