22 May 2007 – The European Commission (EC) released today its “Green Paper on Better Ship Dismantling”. The NGO Platform shares the concerns expressed by the Commission regarding the current unacceptable shipbreaking crisis and the need for a « radical change ». The EU has an important role to play in achieving the goal of safe and environmentally sound shipbreaking worldwide and the scope of the shipbreaking problem calls for the EU to urgently take leadership.
The Green Paper contains some essential policy statements as well as innovative ideas on how the shipbreaking issue can be tackled.
Most importantly these include:
- Strengthening the enforcement of existing Community law, including the Basel Convention and the export ban on hazardous waste, as implemented at EU level through the Waste Shipment Regulation;
- Acknowledging that the problem of insufficient “clean” capacity will be aggravated by the forthcoming phasing-out of all single-hull oil tankers and that interim solutions are needed before the IMO convention, if accepted, comes into force;
- Strengthening EU ship dismantling capacity;
- Requiring that the ship owners, in accordance with the “polluter pays” and producer responsibility principles, take full responsibility for proper disposal of their vessels;
- Establishing a mandatory funding mechanism where contributions will be linked to IMO registration or the operation of ships over their lifetime, e.g. through port fees or mandatory insurance schemes; and
- Streamlining shipping aids with a link to green ship dismantling.