10 June 2012

IMO workshop on ship recycling:

The workshop took palce from 30 May to 2 June 2012.

The purpose of IMO’s National Workshop on the early implementation of the technical standards of the Hong Kong Convention in China was to bring together representatives of a number of European flag states, the European Commission, and representatives from China as a forward looking ship recycling state, the Chinese ship recycling industry (China National Shiprecycling Association and its members), international shipowners’ associations (BIMCO, ICS and INTERTANKO), and large European national shipowners’ associations (Germany, Greece and Norway).

BIMCO had been invited to present its new standard contract on ship recycling, code named RECYCLECON. The presentation can be seen via the below link.

RECYCLECON is a contract, targeting the market of green recycling. It has been developed to accommodate the sector of the market made up of owners and recycling yards that are committed to embracing safety and environmental considerations when recycling ships. One of BIMCO’s key objectives is the harmonisation of international trade practices.

RECYCLECON is seen as a means of bringing commercial harmony to the process of the "green" recycling of ships, consistent with the objectives of the IMO Convention.

The aim of the workshop was to create the necessary understanding and communication channels leading to the establishment of a workable and effective regime of safety and pollution prevention standards that should be based on the technical requirements of the Hong Kong Convention in the interim period.

On 23 March 2012, the European Commission adopted the “Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and Council on ship recycling”. As part of the European decision making process, the proposed Regulation will have to be negotiated between the Directorate General of Environment of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council over the coming months before it can be finalized, published, and enter into force. The new regulation is important to ship owners of European flagged ships as it legitimizes the practice that ships may be recycled in facilities outside the OECD.

BIMCO is pleased that the proposed Regulation is based on the technical standards of the Hong Kong Convention. This is a prerogative for a global regulation of ship recycling. In its presentation BIMCO did, however, address some of its concerns with regard to the European proposed regulation, where in certain places it goes beyond the Hong Kong Convention. Some of the concerns are of a commercial nature that place extra competitive burden and liabilities on European ship owners in comparison with other flags.

Representatives from the Chinese ship recycling industry presented the plan for ship recycling in China, underlining its reputation for being safe and green. Ship recycling yards in China have made a tremendous effort to improve the environmental parts of recycling, ensuring waste treatment and containment of hazardous materials. It was clear that they were on the right track to be able to live up to the conditions in the Hong Kong Convention.

The two day workshop was followed by visits to Yinhu Yard, Zongxzin Yard, Shuangshui Yard and Changjiang Yard.

This was a very important and timely workshop, where BIMCO had the possibility to express its views on the obstacles that will have to be levelled out for implementing the proposed European Regulation, which at the end of the day will be a big stepping stone to the entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention. Furthermore, there is no doubt that China today is heading in the right direction and is at the forefront of performing green recycling.

Source: vietfracht 4 June 2012

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