Shipowners "Not Lying" About Scrapping Scheme

Friday April 26, 2013

The Danish Shipowners' Association has denied accusations that it, along with other lobbyists, lied about factual matters in their opposition of a proposed ship scrapping levy, industry news site ShippingWatch reports.

The European Parliament recently voted down a proposal by Swedish member Carl Schlyter to stop unsafe scrapping practices, which included plans for a scrapping fund that would be paid for through a levy on ships using European ports.

After the plan was defeated, Schlyter filed a complaint accusing ship owners' groups of using false arguments in lobbying against it, but the industry says it used the same data that Schlyter did in calculating the costs of the fund to shipping companies.

"We used the numbers that formed the basis of Schlyter's own consequence analysis for this area, as well as for the final proposal, which was 0.05 Euros per GT per port call," said Maria Bruun Skipper, chief consultant at the Danish Shipowners' Association.

"We've calculated specific examples based on his numbers and, for instance, we've looked at the expenses for a RoRo ship sailing between European ports, a large ocean going container carrier, and a ferry."

The shipowners and ports lobying against the port levy believed it would mean substantial additional expenses, something which Schlyter denied, and argued that the fund would help stop unsafe scrapping practices.

"Hopefully, we can put a stop to the absolute majority of vessels being scrapped on beaches in Bangladesh, which is damaging to both humans and the environment," he was quoted last month as saying before the vote.

But ship owners' groups, including the Asian Shipowners' Forum (ASF) responded that the proposal might undermine the Hong Kong convention, an effort to address scrapping issues on a global basis that has not yet been ratified.

"The global implementation of the Hong Kong Convention is the only way to overcome problems of the recycling industry," the ASF said.

The European Parliament is still considering other proposals for scrapping requirements.