India’s ship breaking industry eyes a greater share of the market as the parliament’s upper house passes a bill that requires ship breakers to conform with the regulations of the Hong Kong Convention, 2009. India’s parliament has passed the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 on Dec 9.
The new bill ensures eco-friendly recycling of ships and safety of the ship yard workers. The central government will designate an officer as a National Authority which will act as a nodal agency monitoring and supervising the recycling operation. Government will also appoint an authority as the Competent Authority to performing the duties of supervision according to various region and areas of expertise. The bill on becoming an Act will be applicable to any new or existing ship which is registered in India, ships entering a port or terminal in India or the territorial waters of India. It will also be applicable on any warship, or other ship owned and operated by an administration and used on government non-commercial service and ship recycling facilities operating in India.
Every ship to be recylced will require the ship owner to apply to the National Authority for a ‘ready for recycling certificate’ before recycling the ship. The Ship recycler must prepare a ship recycling plan which should be approved by the Competent Authority. Each ship will be recycled after obtaining written permission which will granted after physical inspection of the ship. On violating these provisions and in case of oil spill, the ship recycler will be liable to pay for environmental damages and clean-up operation as prescribed.
Requirements: There are 72 recycling and 131 operational plots in the country at present, 70pc of the yards are green facilities after the Act comes to force, all yards will have to adhere to green recycling practices as entitled by the Hong Kong Convention (HKC).
1. Each owner of new ship should apply and renew a certificate on the inventory of hazardous materials by the National Authority.
2. Existing ship owners will apply for the certificate within five years of the commencement of the Act. The certificate must be renewed every five years and should be maintained and updated through the life of the ship to reflect any changes in the ship’s structure and equipment.
Stats – India recycled the highest 35 out of 73 ships headed to the South Asia in the third quarter of 2019. Gujarat’s Alang shipyards received more than 250 vessels of almost 5mn gross tonnes – amounting to 25-35pc of the world’s recycling tonnage in 2018. Country’s recycling activities are expected to pick up pace when the Recycling of Ship Act complies with HKC.