The NGO Shipbreaking
Platform does not approve of South Asia’s ‘beaching yards’ since they are not
both environment and labour-friendly thereby exposing the workforce to
hazardous and unsafe practices and it is strongly accusing shipping industry of
using ‘scaremonger’ tactics and ‘fake news’ in order to get South Asian
shipbreaking yards included in the list of EU-approved ship recycling
facilities. The shipping industry points to the recent decision of the Chinese
government to stop the import of end-of-life ships for scrap.
According to the EU Ship
Recyling Regulation, adopted in 2013 and starting in 2019, all end-of-life
ships flying an EU Member State flag will be required use an approved shipyard
included in a so-called European List of ship recycling facilities.
Commission published an initial version of the list in 2016, listing 18 shipyards all located in
The Commission has
been under pressure from the shipping industry to open the list to foreign yards as soon as possible
as there is not enough capacity in the EU to keep pace with demand. ECSA has said that the yards in the list have
the capacity to handle less than 30% of EU’s own ship recycling target.
Moreover, the industry goes to the extent of saying that “the standard set by
the EU must be lowered so that beaching yards can be approved,” the NGO
Shipbreaking Platform said this week.
Though the Commission has
received applications from countries like Turkey, China and even India, final
decision has not yet been made.
According to the
Platform, foreign yards don’t need to be on the list because there is actually
sufficient capacity on the list to recycle the entire EU-flagged fleet at
The Platform calculates
that the 21 facilities currently on the EU List as of May 2018 have the
capacity to recycle at least 1 mill LDT, more than enough capacity to handle
the less than 500.000 LDTs of applicable tonnage that was scrapped in 2017. The
Platform further notes that while most can only take in smaller vessels, at
least 10 of the facilities on the list are able to take in larger ones. Plus,
the addition of more yards in Italy and Norway will help boost capacity even
more by the end of the year.
“The overall capacity and
sizes of all the facilities that are compliant with EU law will easily
accommodate the recycling needs of EU-flagged ships by 1 January 2019. The
scaremongering of the shipping industry therefore needs to be debunked, and the
European Commission should not bow-down to the “fake news” spread by the ship
owners,” the NGO Shipbreaking Platform said in a strongly-worded press release.
“The EU should aim at
ensuring that the European shipping industry no longer causes harm to the
environment and workers on the South Asian beaches. 30 percent of end-of-life
ships are owned by European companies – compared to only six percent registered
under an EU flag. There will be a need to support the expansion of existing or
building of new facilities to ensure the clean and safe recycling of the many
larger vessels that are owned by European companies”, says Ingvild Jenssen,
Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
The NGO Shipbreaking
Platform, created in 2005, is coalition of environmental, human and labour
rights organizations whose goal is to prevent toxic end-of-life ships from
being beached in developing countries, particularly in South Asia where ships
are dismantled within the tidal zone.
“Circular economy is the
buzz-word and a return scheme for ships is the solution”, Jenssen adds.