Introduction of the UK List of Approved Ship Recycling Facilities

At the end of last year, Justin Turner and I reported upon a key update from the European Union (“EU”) relating to the European List of approved recycling yards for EU-flagged ships (the “EU List”).  That update revealed that the UK-based yards that had previously been approved and used for EU-compliant recycling would no longer be part of the EU List from 1 January 2021. Within this bulletin, we take a consider the effect of Brexit on the EU List and the establishment of the UK’s own United Kingdom List of approved ship recycling facilities (the “UK List”)

Until 31 December 2020, the EU List comprised of 42 yards, three of which were located within the United Kingdom.  Whilst inclusion of two of these UK-based yards expired on 31 December 2020, one (based in Northern Ireland) will remain only until 16 June 2025. As of 1 January 2021, any UK-flagged ships over 500GT which are involved on international voyages must be recycled at a facility which is on the UK List. The UK Ship Recycling Regulations require the Secretary of State to publish and maintain a list of ship recycling facilities which are: (i) located in the United Kingdom and have been authorised in accordance with retained EU Regulation; and (ii) located outside the United Kingdom and whose inclusion is based on an assessment of the information and supporting evidence provided or gathered in accordance with retained EU Regulation.

The UK List was published on 5 February 2021 by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. A total of 42 yards are currently included in the UK List, four of which are based within the UK itself: Able UK Limited in the north of England; Dales Marine Services Limited in Scotland; Harland and Wolff (Belfast) Ltd in Northern Ireland; and Swansea Dry Docks in Wales. The remaining yards mirror those included in the EU List as of 31 December 2020.

The UK List will be periodically updated by the UK Government as required and we will be closely following its progress, particularly as to whether any yards which are located outside of the UK/EU are added.  

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