Scrapping of ships often involves hazardous practices
A movement for more responsible shipbreaking systems took a step forward with German carrier Hapag-Lloyd announcing it will sell vessels only to specialized recycling yards that comply with environmental guidelines, industry news site World Maritime News reports.
"It will be good to see, well ahead of proposed regulations entering in force, many more companies following this example by providing their ships with Inventories of Hazardous Materials and by ensuring that their ships are recycled in line with the guidelines of the IMO's Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009," said Anil Sharma, president and CEO of Global Marketing Systems Inc. (GMS), the largest cash buyer of ships for recycling.
"This will ease the entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention because recycling yards around the world will realise the need to be prepared and to invest in safety and environmental protection improvements."
Anil Sharma, CEO, GMS
Recycling yards around the world will realise the need to be prepared
Sharma said there are already some yards, including in China, that comply with regulations, but others around the world, particularly in India, are also moving toward improvements, which could allow environmentally responsible practices to become widespread.
"At this early stage, shipowners must target their custom towards recycling yards in all areas of the world, including India, China and Turkey," he said.
GMS, which was involved in deliberations leading to the Hong Kong Convention, said some yards need to work in partnerships with shipowners to develop better systems.
The NGO Shipbreaking Platform found that more than half of large ocean-going vessels scrapped in 2013 ended up in substandard facilities in South Asia.