EU ship recycling rules “look like protectionism”

Denmark-based independent shipowners association BIMCO has observed that the new EU ship recycling rules looked rather like protectionism under the guise of environmental friendliness. Only nine shipyards, out of 26, on the EU list of approved recycling facilities are realistically open for ship recycling, and only three of the 26 could recycle a large ship (Panamax size or larger), a study commissioned by BIMCO showed. Angus Frew, BIMCO Secretary General & CEO, said that “the EU list is hard to take seriously. I called one of these “recycling shipyards” a few months ago, and they hadn’t even started building the yard yet. The list look a little like protectionism and clearly disadvantages European ship owners”.

Regulation (EU) 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on ship recycling came into force on January 1st 2019. It requires EU flagged ships to be recycled at approved yards on the EU list. EU yards are apparently allowed on the list without fulfilling uniform criteria, whereas non-EU yards have to be inspected by EC-appointed auditors. So far only two Turkish and one US yard have been included.

BIMCO said that it believed that audits should consider and reward improvements to health, safety and environmental protection that have been achieved at facilities in Asia. Furthermore, there should also be actual inspection of the EU yards. Currently, some Asian yards have waited two years for approval after submitting their application, without any prospect or pathway to inclusion on the list.

  1. The result of the study “Report on the European List of Ship Recycling Facilities” is available on the BIMCO website.