News item 3, February 2019
Secretary General ISRA, Bernard Veldhoven, was invited by the European Commission (EC) on 1 February to attend an expert meeting with the EC and the member states. ECSA and NGO-platform were also invited. One of the reasons for the EC to organize this meeting was to facilitate member states to a direct exchange of views concerning the entry of force of the new EU Ship Recycling Regulation. One of the main issues related to his new regulation, is the capacity needed and the capacity available. ECSA published figures concerning this field.
The EC, NGO and ISRA thoroughly scrutinized the capacity issue and shared the conclusion that the needed capacity for ship recycling at EU-(listed) yards was more than sufficient. ISRA emphasized during the meeting that the EU ship recycling yards are keen to receive (EU-flagged) ships in order to fill the under capacity. ISRA also pointed out that requests for quotations are up till now minimal and sometimes fake which makes it difficult for the EU-yards to treat them seriously. ISRA made its position very clear to the member states that only high standard yards should be listed as its members are.
ECSA repeatedly maintained that HKC is the only (global) solution, implicitly stating that without this global instrument, ship owners are confronted with a non-level playing field forcing them to choose for the beaches. Some member states were very surprised ECSA did not openly support during the meeting the efforts done by the EC and the MS.
ECSA also had difficulty denying that India, as soon as the HKC gets into force, will make all Indian yards “HKC-compliant” in order to protect its own substandard industry.
NGO shipbreaking made it very clear that the supposed positive effects of the ship recycling industry for Bangladesh are very disputable since only 18000 workers on a total population of 140 million people might have any advantage, if any, given the regular and on-going casualties. Furthermore, only a small part of steel is used, since the quality is so bad that it is not fit to be used for important structures.
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