ENDS Europe – Danes suggest delaying ship recycling rules

(Written by the ENDS Europe team)

27 June 2012 - The draft regulation on ship recycling should apply two years after its publication in the official journal rather than one year as proposed by the European Commission, according to a Danish EU presidency proposal seen by ENDS.

The outgoing presidency adds that a requirement to keep an inventory of hazardous materials on board should apply seven years after the rules’ publication. The commission says all ships should meet this requirement within six years.

The commission published plans to tighten rules on breaking up EU-registered ships in March. The draft regulation would implement the 2009 Hong Kong convention on ship recycling early and extend some aspects.

Other suggestions made by the Danish presidency include the removal of a requirement for non-EU ships to carry an inventory if they enter an EU port*. Other changes concern inventory certificates, a requirement to translate recycling plans, reporting requirements for member states and the calculation of fines.

The text will not entirely satisfy Swedish MEP Carl Schlyter who is the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the draft regulation in the environment committee.

He told ENDS that the exemption for military vessels should go. As they are generally very old when scrapped, any secrets that a hazardous substance inventory might reveal would have become obsolete long ago, he said.

The MEP wants to make sure that the law is free of loopholes that could allow owners to escape their responsibilities by re-flagging ships. Mr Schlyter also suggested giving ship owners a financial incentive to comply with the legislation.

His recommendations will be put to the environment committee in October, with a vote following in February. Some fear that the incoming Cyprus EU presidency, which has a large fleet, will seek to further weaken the proposal. A first reading agreement could be reached under the Irish presidency next spring or summer.

*Clarification 28/06/2012 – The Danish presidency has pointed out that this requirement has not been removed from the draft regulation as reported in this article. It has simply been incorporated in a different paragraph in the same article (article 5.3).

The presidency also stressed that its compromise text introduces some improvements compared with the European Commission’s proposal. For example, the publication of the European list of ship recycling facilities would be brought forward.

See the original article here