Letters to the European Commissioner and some Member States
ISRA repeatedly expressed its support to the policies of the European Commission on sound and safe ship recycling. This policy has led to an adequate regulatory frame work: together with the European Waste Shipment Regulation (EU WSR 1013/2006), the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR 1257/2013); including the adjoining Technical Requirements (TR) and the Basel Convention, a clear judicial base is offered directing companies and Member States how to act when ships are destined for dismantling. The majority of EU owned end of life ships –notwithstanding this framework– find their final destination on the beaches of South East Asia which is strictly forbidden.
The shipping sector, like others, is significantly affected by the decreasing worldwide economic activities. In the case of COVID-19, a sudden and unprecedented disruption of shipping activities has caused some ship-owners to prematurely decide to end the economic life of their vessel(s), leading to a substantial increase of ships to be recycled. Although some shipowners take their responsibility now and send their EU-flagged vessels to EU approved ship recycling facilities, a far bigger number of shipowners find a way to evade the restrictive laws and end up with their ships on a beach. In numerous occasions ISRA emphasized the importance of enforcement as an essential component of the legal framework (EU-SRR and EU- WSR) and the important role Member States have to fulfill in this respect.
The current situation, amplified by the specific economic circumstances at this moment, requires a firm answer preventing workers and environment paying the bill on the beaches of South East Asia.
ISRA has called in various letters upon the Commissioner and a number of Member States to see that the important issue of enforcement is carried out properly.
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