addressed during a special session at the seventh biennial Seatrade Middle East Maritime (SMEM) summit and exhibition, which is part of the Dubai Maritime Week, hosted by Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) and will take place in Dubai from 28-30 October 2014.
The day three session, scheduled for 2-4 pm, will present an up-to-the-minute picture of the current issues and key concerns facing ship recyclers, and use case studies to discuss practical solutions, with a focus on hazardous waste management developments, general health and safety, environmental management and the international regulatory environment.
“Decommissioned vessel recycling has always been part of the maritime life cycle, but with increasing importance being placed on sustainability in terms of both environmental and human safety, plus the advent of new international legislation, the way in which breakers yards around the world operate and the challenges that they face, is a pressing agenda issue,” said Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, organisers of Seatrade Middle East Maritime.The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Friendly Recycling of Ships (2009) set out a roadmap for increased worker safety and environmental protection but has yet to be fully ratified.
In December 2013, the European Commission (EC) took its own steps to add momentum to the movement for change with drafted regulations introduced to ‘force’ ship recycling yards to improve the standard of their operations and technical capabilities in order to make it onto an approved facility list for the scrapping of EU member state vessels.
The regulations, which went live in January 2014, extend beyond the HKC mandate stipulating that ships must be dismantled using a ‘built structure’ with an impermeable floor to contain hazardous waste leakage. This has raised red flags in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with concerns that the beaching of EU-registered vessels could potentially be restricted or even banned.