Stricter ship-breaking requirements

  • Published: 12/12/2018 by: Bjarte Amble

From 1 January, shipowners who want to scrap their old ships must comply with stricter legislation. The purpose is to protect the environment against on-board hazardous materials and substances, but also to ensure the health and safety of workers engaged in ship-breaking activities.

The Tide Carrier (Harrier) has contributed to putting illegal ship-breaking on the agenda. The ship is being scrapped at an EU approved recycling facility in Turkey.
The Tide Carrier (Harrier) has contributed to putting illegal ship-breaking on the agenda. The ship is being scrapped at an EU approved recycling facility in Turkey.
PHOTO: Sjøfartsdirektoratet

The EU Regulation on Ship Recycling has been implemented into Norwegian legislation by separate Regulations entering into force on 31 December 2018. The legislation states, among other things, that Norwegian ships falling under the scope of the legislation, may only be recycled at facilities included in the European List of Approved Ship Recycling Facilities. The European List of Approved Ship Recycling Facilities was updated this week. Currently, it contains a total of 26 facilities, of which three are located outside the EU.



“In accordance with other legislation, the export of hazardous waste out of the OECD area, for example from Europe to India, is already prohibited. End-of-life ships are considered “hazardous waste”. However, it has proved difficult for ships to enforce legislation related to hazardous waste. That is why the EU Regulation on Ship Recycling is being implemented into Norwegian law,” says Werner Dagsland, senior adviser at the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA).

Norway was one of the initiators of an international convention for regulating ship recycling several years ago, the so-called Hong Kong Convention. For various reasons, the Convention has still not entered into force. The legislation now being implemented for Norwegian ships is based on the content of the Convention.

The new Regulations are to be enforced by the NMA in cooperation with the Norwegian Environment Agency (NAE).

“The new EU Regulation makes it easier to send ships for recycling at facilities ensuring the safety of health and environment. Export to facilities outside the OECD area will also be allowed, provided that they appear on the EU list. We hope that the EU Regulation contributes to fewer ships being scrapped on Asian beaches,” says Beate Langset, senior adviser at the NEA.



Prior to sending a ship to an approved facility, the ship shall be prepared for recycling, the company shall have entered into an agreement with the facility, and the ship shall have been issued with a recycling certificate following an inspection.

All ships being constructed after 1 January 2019 are required to carry a valid certificate including an inventory of all hazardous materials, a so-called IHM certificate. From 31 December 2020, all existing ships shall have on board such certificate. The purpose is to be in control of whether a ship carries hazardous materials on board when taken permanently out of service.

            Moreover, in two years, ships not flying the flag of an EEA Member State are required to carry a statement from their flag State if they intend to call at ports in the EEA area. This statement shall include an inventory of all on-board hazardous materials.


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