The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) say ship recycling licences proposed by the EU could be seen as “anti-competitive” and would undermine the IMO’s own efforts to improve working and environmental conditions at shipbreaking yards in developing countries.
The proposed new regulation, currently being considered by the European Commission (EC), would force ships sailing under any flag to pay for ship recycling licences when calling at EU ports.
The proceeds from the licences would be paid into a proposed EU Fund and would be paid back at the end of the vessel’s working life on the condition that the ship is recycled at a yard approved by the EC.
“As well as being unduly complex, widely impractical and very difficult for the EU to administer, the establishment of such a fund will be an affront to the international community, which has adopted the Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling, whose standards have already been incorporated into a similar EU regulation,” said ECSA’s secretary general, Patrick Verhoeven.
The ICS and ECSA say the proposal will also cause serious problems with the EU’s trading partners, including China, India, Japan and the US.
“Such a draconian unilateral measure, especially if applied to non-EU ships, is likely to be seen by EU trading partners as anti-competitive interference into the conduct of international shipping. There is a real danger that other nations would apply retaliatory measures,” said ICS secretary general Peter Hinchliffe.
The two organisations say the EU should concentrate on getting EU member states to ratify the IMO’s Hong Kong Convention, and to recognise the efforts being made by recycling yards in Asia to be certified in accordance with IMO standards.
ECSA and the ICS are preparing a detailed commentary on the EU Fund proposal, which will be shared with the EC, EU members tates and the European Parliament.