At the end of last year, India passed the Recycling of Ships Bill 2019 (the “Act”) and also officially acceded to the IMO Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the “HKC”).
The Act provides that all recycling yards in India will require specific “authorisation”, with ships only being recycled in such authorised yards. It also it restricts and, in some cases, prohibits the use or installation of certain hazardous materials.
India’s accession to the HKC means that ships sent for recycling will be required to carry an inventory of all hazardous materials (“IHM”) on board. Further, Indian ship recycling facilities will be required to provide a "Ship Recycling Plan", specifying how each ship will be recycled, based on its particular characteristics and its IHM.
Through these measures India has demonstrated its commitment to meet internationally recognised standards for environmentally responsible ship recycling.
For recycling facilities in the Indian subcontinent, various factors including currency depreciation and unusually adverse weather conditions, meant that 2019 was an extremely difficult year. Market analysts are, however, quite bullish about the prospects for 2020 and this is supported by early signs of increased recycling activity in the region.
Of course, only time will tell if 2020 will see a significant upturn in recycling activity in the Indian subcontinent and whether the Indian authorities will be successful in applying and enforcing the measures set out in the Act. However, market performance aside, India’s commitment to greener recycling is hugely encouraging and it is hoped that it will lead other major industry participants to follow their example.
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