EUWID – Environmental groups blast EU ship recycling compromise

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1 July 2013 - NGO Shipbreaking Platform, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and their more than 160 affiliated environmental, human and labour rights organisations sharply criticised the agreement reached by the EU Parliament and Council on the proposed Ship Recycling Regulation reached in trilogue talks last week. In a strongly worded statement released by NGO Shipbreaking Platform, the groups “denounced” the texted of the Regulation, saying that it would postpone, perhaps indefinitely, the point at which the EU took responsibility for solving the problems associated with the global ship breaking market.

The groups’ criticism centred on the scope of the Regulation, which is restricted to ships sailing under the flag of an EU member state. If the Regulation is adopted as now agreed, the groups believed that ship-owners would simply re-register their vessels to a non-EU flag prior to sending them for breaking to avoid having to comply with the provisions of the law.

“We fear that the Regulation will end up applying to very few ships,” said Jeremy Wates, Secretary General of the EEB. “Unless an economic incentive for all ships calling at EU ports is rapidly introduced, circumvention of the law will persist, and the European shipping industry will continue to be at the heart of scandals involving severe pollution of coastal zones and exploitation of vulnerable workers in developing countries,” he added.