Ships calling at EU ports will need inventory of hazmat certification

By the end of 2020, all ships entering a European Union port or anchorage will need to carry a valid and certificated Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) if they are to comply with the requirements of the 2013 EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR). Also, a requirement under the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009, which is yet to enter into force and is a necessity for the IHM requirements to be fulfilled has been hastened by the EU SRR, reports Lloyd’s Register.

Under the EU SRR, all new ships delivered under an EU flag after December 31st 2018 must carry valid IHM certification on board. All existing vessels, regardless of flag, will need IHM certification from December 31st 2020, if calling at an EU port or anchorage.

All EU-flagged ships sold for recycling after December 31st 2018 require a Ready for Recycling Certificate, ensuring that they can only be processed at a recycling yard that is included on the European List of Ship Recycling Facilities.

Lloyd’s Register’s senior ship recycling specialist Jennifer Riley noted that the EU SRR had brought forward by a number of years the International Maritime Organization’s Hong Kong Convention IHM requirement.

Even after the Hong Kong Convention has been ratified, the requirement for new ships to have valid IHM certification will not become mandatory for two years thereafter; and for existing ships, compulsory IHMs won’t be required for seven years from ratification.

Nikos Mikelis, principal architect of the Hong Kong Convention, said that he believed the IMO’s recycling regulations could still be at least four years from ratification.

With Germany’s accession in July, seven countries have acceded to the Convention in the past six months, compared with six that acceded in the previous nine years. Dr Mikelis said that “the acceleration in the recognition of the need for the Convention to enter force the soonest possible probably reflects growing concerns over the enforcement of the regional EU SRR since the beginning of this year”.

He noted that “what remains now is for two of the major ship recycling nations to also accede to the Convention before the ship recycling industry can start operating under a uniform global regulatory platform.”

He said that India now held the key to the convention’s entry into force. India is not yet a signatory to the Convention.