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European Union Passes Ship Recycling Regulations

Legislation & Regulations, International Recycling News

New laws go into effect Dec. 30, 2013.

Recycling Today Staff December 18, 2013
The new European Regulation on ship recycling (Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013) has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU) and it will enter into law on Dec. 30, 2013.

The objective of the regulation is to reduce the negative impacts linked to the recycling of EU-flagged ships, especially in South Asia, without creating unnecessary economic burdens, according to the journal. It brings into force an early implementation of the requirements of the 2009 Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, therefore, contributing to its global entry into force.

The new ship recycling regulation will apply to large commercial seagoing vessels flying the flag of EU member states and to ships flying the flag of the third country calling at EU ports or anchorages. To ensure legal clarity and avoid administrative burdens, ships covered by the new legislation would be excluded from the scope of the Waste Shipment Regulation (EC) 1013/2006, according to the new rules.

The regulation sets out a number of requirements for European ships, European ship owners, ship recycling facilities willing to recycle European ships and the relevant competent authorities or administrations. It also requires the EC to adopt a number of acts implementing the regulation (in particular the European List of ship recycling facilities authorized to recycle ships flying the EU flag).

According to the new rules, the installation or use of certain hazardous materials on ships will be prohibited or restricted. These hazardous materials include asbestos, ozone-depleting substances, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and antifouling compounds and systems.

Each new European ship (or a ship flying a flag of the third country calling at EU port or anchorage) will be required to have on board an inventory of hazardous materials verified by the relevant administration or authority and specifying the location and approximate quantities of those materials. 

European ship owners also will have to ensure that ships are only recycled in ship recycling facilities included in the European list. They will have to ensure that each end-of-life ship is prepared for recycling. To do this, they will have to provide the necessary information about the ship to the ship recycling facility, notify the intention to recycle the ship to the relevant administration, provide an updated inventory of hazardous materials and minimize the amount of cargo residues, remaining fuel oil and ship generated wastes remaining on board, according to the new rules. They also will have to provide a ready for recycling certificate to the ship recycling facility which will recycle their ship. 

Prior to any recycling of a European ship, a ship recycling plan will have to be developed by the operator of the ship recycling facility based on the information provided by the ship owner. The plan will contain information about the ship essential for its safe and sound treatment and thus will facilitate the work of the ship recycling facility. European ships will undergo surveys verifying compliance of the inventory of hazardous materials with the requirements of the regulation.

EU Member States' port authorities will be authorized to control European ships to verify whether they have on board a ready-for-recycling certificate or a valid inventory of hazardous materials, whatever is relevant.

To be included in the European list, any ship recycling facility irrespective of its location will have to comply with a number of requirements. The EC will assess the applications received from the ship recycling facilities located in third countries. For facilities located in the EU Member States, the assessment will be done by national authorities, and its result will be provided to the EC.

The European List will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the website of the Euoprean Commission at the latest 36 months after the date of entry into force of this regulation. The commission will be able to regularly update the European list to include or remove a ship recycling facility from the list.

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