To remind, from December 31 2020, the European Union’s Ship Recycling Regulations (EUSRR) will require ships of 500 GT and above flying the flag of countries in the European Union (EU), and all other ships regardless of the flag, to carry an inventory of hazardous materials (IHM) when visiting an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) port.

During May, BIMCO asked its members whether the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak had presented challenges to shipowners, who were in the process of completing their IHM and obtaining the necessary documentation prior to the compliance deadline of 31 December 2020.

According to the replies: approximately 137 (58%) of the 236 ships operated by the respondents would be affected by the new regulation. Out of the affected ships, 33 (24%) had completed the process, while the rest were at various stages of compliance.

Following the above, BIMCO along with other shipping organisations have signed a letter addressed to the EU Commission, in which the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the involved parties, especially shipowners are outlined.

BIMCO notes that

If the 31 December 2020 deadline cannot be met, BIMCO recommends the development of IHMs on the oldest ships first. Old ships are in general more likely to be recycled and such a risk based planning will demonstrate how shipowners are working proactively in accordance with the spirit of the new EU regulation.