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Preparatory Discussions on Promoting Ship Recycling through the Global Programme Dhaka, 13 January 2008 Developments in Europe: The European Commission’s Green Paper on better ship recycling Thomas Ormond European Commission DG Environment, Unit G.4 Structure of the presentation

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thomas ormond european commission dg environment unit g 4

Preparatory Discussions on Promoting Ship Recyclingthrough the Global ProgrammeDhaka, 13 January 2008Developments in Europe:The European Commission’s Green Paper on better ship recycling

Thomas Ormond

European Commission

DG Environment, Unit G.4

structure of the presentation
Structure of the presentation
  • Background
  • Problems
  • Europe’s role
  • Draft Ship Recycling Convention
  • Towards an EU strategy
  • Short- and medium-term measures
  • Long-term measures
  • 1980s Cases of hazardous waste from Europe being dumped in developing countries
  • 1989 Basel Convention – to control transboundary waste movements
  • 1995 Basel Ban Amendment – to prohibit exports of hazardous waste from OECD to non-OECD countries. Transposed in the EU by the Waste Shipment Regulation (currently Reg. 1013/2006).


  • 1980s/90s Ship dismantling industry moves to developing countries.
  • Since 1990s Reports about environmental and safety problems of beaching
  • 2002-2004 Technical Guidelines of Basel Convention / ILO / IMO
  • Late 2005 IMO decides to develop Ship Recycling Convention.
  • Many old ships (built until 1980s) have high quantities of hazardous materials on board.Of special concern: warships, large passenger liners, chemical and oil tankers.
  • Until 2015 up to 5.5 million tonnes of materials of potential environmental concern could end up in dismantling yards, esp. oil sludge, oils, paints, PVC and asbestos (est. 2004).
  • Problems with safety and environmental protection in shipbreaking yards:- Gas explosions- Higher accident risk without cranes/dockyard equipment- Toxic fumes- Asbestos- PCB, mercury + other hazardous materials- Lack of containment / impermeable surfaces – pollution of water and soil ...
  • Different environmental + safety standards – no level playing field worldwide!
europe s role
Europe’s role
  • Some EU Member States among top maritime nations. - 25% of worldwide tonnage EU-MS-flagged; - 40% owned by EU-domiciled companies.
  • Nearly all larger ships from EU are dismantled in South Asia – without pre-cleaning. Several high-profile cases in 2006-7.
  • Most maritime states have no ship recycling policy.
  • Nov. 2006: EU Council sees environmentally sound management of ship dismantling as a priority and welcomes Commission’s intention to work towards an EU-wide strategy.
draft ship recycling convention
Draft Ship Recycling Convention
  • Cradle-to-grave approach
  • Principle: certified ships to authorised yards
  • Binding regulations, non-binding guidelines
  • Open questions: scope, non-Parties, verification & compliance, ESM standard, implementation mechanisms
  • Not covered: state vessels, small ships, domestic shipping?
  • Will it generate change, when and how?
towards an eu strategy
Towards an EU strategy
  • Green Paper on better ship dismantling - adopted May 2007, public consultation until Sept. 2007
  • Communication from the Commission – planned for second half of 2008
  • Studies of 2001, 2004, 2007 – further research planned
  • Measures after adoption of Ship Recycling Convention (2009-)
short and medium term measures
Short- and medium-term measures
  • Implementation of current waste shipment law + ILO, IMO, Basel Convention guidelines
  • Voluntary action by ship-owners – to be encouraged
  • Exemplary dismantling of government vessels
  • Development of guidelines, standards, certificates
  • Technical assistance for workers’ training, improvement of infrastructure etc in developing countries
  • Public awareness-raising, transparency
  • Research on technology, economic/social/environmental impacts
long term measures
Long-term measures
  • Implementation of the Ship Recycling Convention:- Prohibition / limitation of hazardous materials on board ships- Surveys and certificates in place worldwide- All ship recycling facilities authorised, safe + environmentally sound
  • Sustainable worldwide funding system: Implementing the Polluter Pays principle!
more information
More information