Once the EU Ship Recycling Regulation effectively applies from 31 December 2018, all vessels sailing under an EU flag will eventually be required to use an approved ship recycling facility. In view of this, European Shipowners (ECSA) noted that the current edition of the EU list of approved ship recycling facilities only features yards situated in Europe and has a capacity of around 300.000 light displacement tonnes (LDT), which is far away from the 2.5 million LDT mentioned in the Regulation.
In the past, all European co-legislators agreed upon this figure: the EU Parliament, the EU Council and the EU Commission, which is based on international research and studies carried out to back the Commission’s legislative proposal in 2012. ECSA Secretary General, Martin Dorsman, said:
For ECSA, this demonstrates clearly that only when third country ship recycling yards will get EU recognition and added to the list, there will be sufficient capacity. This is a message we have tried to pass on to the European Commission – for the moment, the yards on that list will not be able to respond to the recycling capacity demand.
On 18 June, the EU Member States’ experts on ship recycling met in Brussels to discuss the current situation. ECSA shared its experience with the EU legislators regarding the continuous progress which is taking place today in several Indian Ship Recycling Facilities.
One of the most important drivers for the improvements in the Indian facilities is in fact their ambition to work towards approval and inclusion in the EU list of facilities. An important tool in that process is technical cooperation on the ground and a close monitoring of the recycling process, wherever the ship recycling facility is located for that matter, ECSA stressed.
We only have another six months to go before the regulation will come to effect and oblige the European flagged ships to be dismantled in the facilities on the EU list. There is no time to waste but new, also outside-EU, yards that comply with the EU Regulation should urgently be accepted on the list.
On the other hand, NGO Shipbreaking Platform claimed earlier this week that the industry tends to undermine the EU regulation with considerations of including non-EU beaching yards in the list, mostly after China’s move to stop the import of scrapping vessels in its yards.
According to calculations by the Platform, the facilities which are currently on the List, the 21 EU-based ones only, are in fact sufficient to recycle the entire EU-flagged fleet at end-of-life, as they have the capacity to recycle at least 1 mill LDT.
The overall capacity and sizes of all the facilities that are compliant with EU law will easily accommodate the recycling needs of EU-flagged ships by 1 January 2019.