As of 31 December 2018, the recycling of all large sea-going vessels sailing under an EU flag can only take place in yards included on the European list of ship recycling facilities. This is the result of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation
– the only legally binding and comprehensive instrument on ship recycling in force in the world today, which aims to make ship recycling greener and safer. There are currently 26 yards on the European list, most of which are located in the EU, but also in Turkey and the USA, and additional yards are expected to be included on the list in the future.
European ship owners own 35% of the world fleet. A large percentage of these is being dismantled in South Asia, under conditions often harmful to workers’ health and the environment. With the full entry into force of the EU Regulation on ship recycling, this will no longer be possible for EU-flagged vessels, which will have to get dismantled in EU-listed yards. Through this initiative, the EU is leading the way to improve social and environmental conditions under which ships are recycled.
Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries visited one of the busiest ship recycling yards in Europe in Ghent (Belgium), to witness first-hand the reality of ship recycling in Europe and exchange views with representatives of this industry.
Commissioner Vella said: “For too long, EU vessels have been dismantled in poor environmental and social conditions. This is not acceptable any longer. The full entry into force of the EU Regulation on ship recycling is a milestone for this sector, as it provides for the first time clear and specific rules on how EU-flagged vessels should be recycled. Like other recycling activities, ship recycling can be carried out sustainably, in a way which is good for workers, the environment and the economy. This is what is happening at the Ghent ship recycling yard and this is what the EU aims at. We count on all actors in the sector to work constructively with us to make it happen”.