UK Ship Recycling Strategy
In 2007, Defra issued the UK Ship Recycling Strategy following reviews carried out by Defra (via the Ballard Review) and by the Environment Agency to identify lessons learnt after the import of four decommissioned US naval ships in 2003 and following recommendations made by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee in its report “Dismantling Defunct Ships in the UK”. (For more information on these reports, please see The National Archives).
The Strategy establishes domestic policy for the recycling of UK Government-owned vessels, sets out relevant waste controls and makes recommendations for owners and operators of UK flagged vessels. It encourages the development of further facilities to recycle ships in an environmentally sound manner within the UK. It also informs the UK position on international work.
The Strategy is available in five languages beside English:
The Regulatory Impact Assessment that was issued alongside the Strategy can be viewed at: UK ship recycling strategy Final Regulatory Impact Assessment
Alongside the Strategy, Defra issued detailed guidance to provide ship owners and ship recyclers with clear, practical guidance on the regulatory regimes pertaining to ship recycling in the UK: Overview of ship recycling in the UK Guidance
The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships
The Hong Kong Convention was adopted at an International Maritime Organization (IMO) diplomatic conference in May 2009, following over 3 and a half years work with input from IMO Member States and relevant non-governmental organizations in cooperation with the International Labour Organization and parties to the Basel Convention.
The Hong Kong Convention aims to ensure that end of life ships do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and the environment and aims to address all issues around ship recycling from design and construction, through operation and finally to recycling. It will come into force once ratified (or signed without reservation as to ratification) by a sufficient number of states. Pending its coming into force, the IMO is developing a raft of guidance to support the Convention.
More information on the Convention is available at:
In the UK, the Department for Transport leads on issues relating to the Hong Kong Convention with input from Defra.
An EU Strategy for Better Ship Dismantling
In November 2008, in anticipation of the Hong Kong Convention, the European Commission published a Communication “An EU Strategy for Better Ship Dismantling”. The Strategy envisaged an integrated policy approach of implementing the key elements of the Hong Kong Convention, with the possibility of supplementing these requirements within the EU; taking measures to encourage voluntary action from the shipping industry pending the coming into force of the Convention; and considered the possibility of improving the enforcement of the current waste shipment law in relation to ships.
- More information on the European Commission’s Strategy and subsequent work
In the UK, Defra leads on negotiations within the EU on this Strategy.