With new EU rules on hazardous materials inventories set to come into effect at the end of this year, Norwegian software and services specialist Metizoft has signed a framework agreement with Finnish ship operator Eckerö Group. Although the rules are some way off, the owner wishes to be in front and the agreement will cover maintenance and quality assurance of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) for the fleet with the cruise ship Birka which operates between Stockholm via Mariehamn . "Shipping companies see the need to comply with the more stringent environmental requirements such as the new EU Ship Recycling Regulation. Our turnkey IHM solution enables shipowners to outsource the entire process to Metizoft. We are pleased to see that Eckerö Group, a forerunner in environmental and social responsibility issues, have decided to be proactive and sign an agreement with Metizoft" says Chief Marketing Officer Øyvind Sundgot. “We compared different suppliers and came to the conclusion that Metizoft has the concept and also seems to be a reliable partner” says Technical Superintendent Juhani Aarnio. Despite the regulation coming into force 2021 for vessels like Birka, Aarnio sees no reason to wait: “We want to test at one vessel to see how it fits into our own environmental activities. We do now get a clearer structure and better tools to collect all dangerous materials onboard into one system” he continues. The EU Ship Recycling Regulation is mainly based on the Hong Kong Convention, which is currently being ratified by an increasing number of countries. By the end of 2020, 30.000 ships flying the flag of an EU country or calling at an EU port are required to have an updated IHM on board. By outsourcing the IHM to Metizoft, shipowners will be able to meet this requirement in a cost-effective manner. Metizoft’s turnkey IHM solution takes care of IHM Inspections on board existing vessels as well as creation of the IHM on new and existing vessels. We also keep the IHM updated throughout the ship's life cycle, everything in accordance with the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, Hong Kong Convention and IMO Guideline Ship Recycling; MEPC.269(68). Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) requirements:
- EU-flagged newbuildings are required to have onboard a verified IHM with a Statement of at the latest by 31 December 2018.
- Existing EU-flagged vessels are required to have onboard a verified IHM with a Statement of Compliance at the latest by 31 December 2020 (or if the ship is to be recycled, the IHM should be on board from the date the European list of ship recycling facilities is published).
- Non-EU-flagged vessels calling at EU ports are also required to have onboard a verified IHM with a Statement of Compliance at the latest by 31 December 2020.