Shipowners slam EU plan for mandatory ship recycling fund

Proposals that all ships, regardless of flag, should have to pay for European Union ship recycling licences when calling at EU ports has been rejected by shipowner bodies ICS and ECSA.

A proposal now being considered by the European Commission would require ships visiting the EU to pay into an EU recycling fund, with monies only returned at the end of ship’s life it is recycled at an EU-approved yard.

The ICS (International Chamber of Shipping) and ECSA (European Community Shipowners’ Associations) argue that such a move is impractical, since the vessel might very well change owners during its lifetime, would undermine the IMO’s efforts to improve conditions at recycling yards in developing nations, and could anger the EU’s international trading partners.

“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,” warned ECSA secretary general Patrick Verhoeven.

ICS secretary general Peter Hinchliffe added that it risked drawing retaliatory measures from non-EU trading nations such as the US, China, Japan and Russia.

ECSA and ICS believe that the EU should instead concentrate its efforts on getting EU Member States to ratify the IMO Hong Kong Convention, and recognise the efforts being made by recycling yards in Asia to gain certification in accordance with IMO standards. 

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