EU ship owners could face penalties for scrapping vessels in the developing world under revised proposals by the European Parliament's Environment Committee for a ship recycling scheme funded by a recycling levy. According to MEPs the plans would clean up the scrapping of old ships and ensure the materials are recycled in EU-approved facilities in-line with the 'polluter pays' principle.
The EU Parliament explained that the draft regulation aims to reduce the adverse effects of careless scrapping, such as accidents, injuries or damage to human health or the environment, by ensuring that EU ships, and non-EU ships that have called regularly at EU ports, are scrapped in EU-approved facilities worldwide.
"Currently, most EU ships are sent to South-East Asia at the end of their lives, where they are beached and their hazardous materials harm human health and the environment," claimed Carl Schlyter, the MEP steering the legislation through Parliament.
Under the proposals, member states would be required to ensure that an inventory of hazardous materials is established on each ship.
Non-EU ships entering a port or an anchorage of a member state would also need a hazardous materials inventory aboard. If an inspection showed that the condition of ship does not match the inventory, penalties could be imposed.
According to the committee, to help make the scheme economically viable, a recycling fund should be set up. Both EU and non-EU ships should be able to use the fund, which would be financed, in line with the 'polluter pays' principle, by a recycling levy to be charged for any port call by EU or non-EU ships.
Source: Waste Management World