India cleans up its act

India focuses on ship recycling practices Photo: Wiki/Rash9745 India focuses on ship recycling practices Photo: Wiki/Rash9745

The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) has invited the European Commission to acknowledge the improving ship recycling practices in Alang, India.

Recycling operations in Alang take place in intertidal zones, as common with most other South Asian ship recycling yards.

Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA secretary general, said: “It is obvious that the implementation of standards differs considerably, but an increasing number of yards have clearly taken the responsible path towards full compliance with the Hong Kong Convention, both in letter and spirit.”

“We want to ensure that the other yards are following these first movers so that the bar can be raised overall.”

ESCA visited Alanga in late April on a trip that was organised in cooperation with the Indian government, the Gujarat Maritime Board and the Ship Recycling Industry Association (SRIA) of India.

Next to European shipowners, the delegation visiting the yards included representatives from EU Member States, the European Commission (DG Environment) as well as the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

The main purpose of the ECSA visit was to assess to what extent operations in intertidal zones can be sustainable and thus be potentially compliant with the provisions of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.

This regulation was adopted in 2013 in anticipation of the entry into force of the 2009 IMO Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, also known as the Hong Kong Convention.

Mr Verhoeven added: “As the Hong Kong Convention has not entered into force yet, we have encouraged these yards to apply for recognition under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. In turn, we urge the Commission to assess these applications in the true spirit of the regulation and the Convention.”

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