The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represent over 80% of world merchant tonnage, have rejected the concept of the ship recycling license, developed by consultants for the European Commission.
According to ECSA, if proposals to establish an EU ship recycling fund are taken forward, they will cause serious problems with the EU’s trading partners, including China, India, Japan, and the United States.
Proposals to compel ships, regardless of flag, to pay for European Union ship recycling licences when calling at EU ports, would undermine efforts by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to improve working and environmental conditions in developing nations, where most ship recycling yards are located, ECSA added.
According to a proposal now being considered by the European Commission, the money that visiting ships would have to pay into a proposed EU Fund, including those flying the flag of non-EU nations, would only be returned at the end of the vessel’s working life, many years later, when it will probably have a different owner, and only on condition that the ship is recycled at a yard approved by the European Commission.
“The establishment of such a Fund will be an affront to the international community which has adopted the Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling, whose standards have already been incorporated into a similar EU Regulation,” said ECSA Secretary General, Patrick Verhoeven.
ECSA and ICS said that the EU should concentrate its efforts on getting EU Member States to ratify the IMO Hong Kong Convention, and to recognise the efforts being made by recycling yards in Asia to gain certification in accordance with IMO standards.