The inaugural meeting of the Federation of Ship Recycling Associations (FSRA), a collective of the ship recycling associations of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will take place at the TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum in Singapore on 10-11th March.
Although traditionally competitors, the group is coming together in the face of a possible ban on EU flag vessels being sent to South Asia for demolition.
Representatives of the European Commission presented their position to attendees during a private meeting of ship recycling stakeholders organised by the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) recently to discuss the interpretation of the new European Regulation (ER).
According to insiders, Emilien Gasc of the EC Directorate-General for Environment was pressed to clarify the EC position but declined to concede that the wording of the ER implied an outright ban on beaching despite apparently unambiguous references to approved recycling yards requiring ‘built structures’ and ‘impermeable flooring’.
A more clear-cut position was taken by Greece’s permanent representative to the EU, Petros Varelidis, who had been instrumental in drafting the regulation wording. He argued that the ER does not ban beaching and that its purpose is to support the IMO's Hong Kong Convention and stimulate improvements in safety and environmental practices in South Asian yards.
Delegates at TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum 2015 in Singapore will be looking for clarity on the topic from a keynote presentation by EC Director for Green Economy, Kęstutis Sadauskas.
Shiprecyclers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are now wondering whether current and planned investments to improve their facilities will ever pay dividends now that winning a place on the EU-approved list of recycling facilities appears remote.
Speaking about the FRSA gathering in Singapore, Ship Recycling Industries Association India (SRIA India) Hon. Secretary, Nitin Kanakiya said, “The FSRA was initially conceived in 2010 and has informally played important role in uniting recyclers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. We feel that now is the time to come together on a more formal basis in the face of persistent and unjust treatment by pressure groups and officials at the European Commission.”
He added, “The FSRA will be represented in full strength at the TradeWinds Forum by recyclers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Singapore offering easy access to all three countries. Our focus this year will be on the common issues which unite us in protest against the potential ban on beaching.”
Forum organiser Jon Chaplin commented, ‘Ship recyclers from South Asia have supported the Forum since its inception in 2009 and we are excited to see this initiative developing.’
Underlining the importance of the Forum to the industry, principal sponsor Rakesh 'Billu' Khetan, CEO of WIRANA SHIPPING is on record saying, "This is the premier ship recycling event globally and it plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of the entire ship recycling industry and is not to be missed. We are delighted to be supporting the Forum once again and look forward to welcoming everyone to Singapore."
The TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum is an annual event and sponsored by WIRANA SHIPPING, Class NK, Al Salam Insurance, St Kitts & Nevis, Lucion Marine, the International Hazmat Association and Wilhelmsen Ship Management. It has the official support of VDR German Shipowners’ Association, Norges Rederiforbund Norwegian Shipowners’ Association and the Asian Shipowners’ Forum. The event is supported locally by Singapore’s MPA backed MCF Training Grant.
Source: My News Desk. 03 February 2015