9 July 2013 - ‘The new Ship Recycling Regulation very cynically promotes illegal traffic in hazardous waste that would never be allowed for any other industry,’ says Jim Puckett of the Basel Action Network (BAN) in reaction to the agreement reached last week by the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Under the agreement, EU-flagged ships will no longer be permitted to be broken up on south Asian beaches. The new regulation will establish a list of EU-approved recycling facilities where EU-flagged ships can be properly recycled and where waste materials contained in the vessels can be effectively managed throughout the recycling process, preventing negative environmental impacts while also safeguarding the health of workers at those facilities.
One aspect of the agreement to attract strong criticism is the scope offered to EU ship owners of avoiding the regulation by selling vessels to a non-EU party before scrapping. ‘We have a situation now in Europe where it is a criminal act to export an old computer to India but perfectly legal to export a toxic ship,’ Puckett complains. ‘It makes a shocking and shameful mockery of Europe’s alleged concern for human rights and the environment.’