Guidelines issued for ship recycling

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A legislation will be introduced in India to bring certain regulations for recycling of ships by setting certain international standards and laying down the statutory mechanism for enforcement of such standards.

The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for enactment of Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 and accession to the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.

An official release said the proposed Bill restricts and prohibits the use or installation of hazardous material, which applies irrespective of whether a ship is meant for recycling or not.

For new ships, such restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous material will be immediate, that is, from the date the legislation comes into force, while existing ships shall have a period of five years for compliance. Restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous material would not be applied to warships and non-commercial ships operated by Government.

Under the Bill, ship recycling facilities are required to be authorized and ships shall be recycled only in such authorized ship recycling facilities.

The Bill also provides that ships should be recycled in accordance with a ship-specific recycling plan. Ships to be recycled in India should obtain a Ready for Recycling Certificate in accordance with the HKC.

When the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships comes into force, its provisions will be implemented under the provisions of the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 and rules and regulations framed there under.

India is the leader in the global ship recycling industry, with a share of over 30% of the market. As per UNCTAD report on Review of Maritime Transport, 2018, India had demolished 6323 tonnes in 2017, of known ship scrapping across the world.

The ship-recycling industry is a labour-intensive sector, but it is susceptible to concerns on environmental safety.

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