Global shipping companies transporting goods to the EU are likely to miss a new deadline imposed under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR) because of the impact of COVID-19-related lockdowns.
The EUSRR will now require ships of 500gt and above, whether from the EU or any other country that plans to dock at any of the EU ports, to provide an Inventory of Hazardous Material (IHM), starting Dec 31, 2020. The IHM for EU ships as well as those from other countries docking at EU ports should also have a compliance statement issued by the relevant authorities of the countries to which the ships belong.
However, according to a survey by the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), around 58pc of the ships being operated by the respondents would be affected by the new rule amid complications arising from the pandemic, causing delays in obtaining IHMs for the ships.
In a letter to the European Commission urging it to reconsider the deadline, BIMCO recommended that if the deadline could not be extended, the commission could consider imposing the Dec 31 deadline for older ships. BIMCO said these ships were more likely to be recycled or sent to shipbreaking yards and would positively affect risk-based planning for the EU.
BIMCO, in its guide to member organizations, has also strongly recommended applying transitional measures when they sell ships for recycling to shipbreaking yards.
The EUSRR was enforced in 2018 for European shipowners with strict recycling and shipbreaking guidelines that reduce health and environmental hazards related to scrapping and recycling ships.