With a new EU Ship Recycling regulation deadline only weeks away, the EU has added the first non-European facilities to its approved list of recycling yards.
With effect from 31 December 2018, large commercial seagoing vessels flying the flag of an EU Member State may be recycled only in facilities included in the European List of ship recycling facilities. The List was first established on 19 December 2016 and updated in May 2018. It will be further updated in the future through Implementing Acts to add more compliant facilities or to remove facilities which have ceased to comply.
To be included in the European List, any ship recycling facility irrespective of its location has to comply with a number of safety and environmental requirements. In April 2016, the Commission issued technical guidelines on these requirements.
The new list published last week includes two Aliaga-based shipyards of Turkey’s Leyal Ship Recycling Group. Along with International Shipbreaking Limited’s Texas-based yard.
The new yards in Turkey and USA have demonstrated that they fulfil the strict requirements for inclusion in the List and as a result will have access to the recycling of ships flying the flags of the EU Member States,” the European Commission said. A further 24 yards located outside the EU have applied for approval. With the new update, the EU list of ship recycling facilities contains 26 yards.
The EU directive was aimed at preventing the practice of poorly supervised breaking on Asian beaches. Although several Asian facilities have now been approved by classification societies as meeting the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention which governs ship recycling, none of these have yet been added to the EU list.
Maersk and some other leading shipowners have been criticised for selling obsolete ships to international buyers who then proceed to dismantle the vessels in Asia. The practice is not illegal and is followed by most shipping companies globally. Most leading shipowners sell vessels on the second-hand market well before they reach the end of their working life.