IMO's Draft Ship Recycling Convention Callous towards Environmental Health

A shameful stain on the conscience of shipping – recycling – remains unaddressed by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)of International Maritime Organisation (IMO). At its 58th meeting in London, the MEPC approved the final draft of its convention on recycling on 7 October, to be considered for final approval early next year at the IMO meeting in Hong Kong. Every new ship would enter service with an inventory of hazardous material.

The draft convention on ship recycling is a “shameful document which will likely do more harm than good” and “an instrument of greenwash” that does nothing to improve the working conditions at shipbreaking yards.

The convention has sought to address the mechanics of recycling business and the responsibilities of party and non-party states. This fails to “address the human rights, health and environmental consequences” of ship breaking.

Environmental groups say that IMO member governments had their own doubts about the convention. “Most notably, the doubt of the European Union is palpable in the reading of the European Commission Green Paper and the European Parliament’s response to it.”Rather than use the convention to set new standards in shipbreaking practise, the industry has used the convention as “a vehicle to avoid the principles of environmental justice embodied in the Basel convention”.

Addressing the opening session of MEPC this week, IMO secretary-general Efthimiois Mitropoulos noted “a sense of satisfaction” that two-and-a-half years’ work on an ad hoc convention were coming to an end.

Following an intersessional meeting of the ad hoc working group, MEPC 58 plans to undertake a final review and approval of the updated draft before submitting it to next year’s diplomatic conference on May 11-15, 2009.

References:


Basel Action Network, www.ban.org

Ship recycling http://www.imo.org/Environment/mainframe.asp?topic_id=818

Assembly Resolution A.962(23) – IMO Guidelines on Ship Recycling
http://www.imo.org/Environment/mainframe.asp?topic_id=874

Joint ILO/IMO/BC Working Group on Ship Recycling
http://www.imo.org/Environment/mainframe.asp?topic_id=1044

IMO to develop new instrument on recycling of ships

http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=1109

Developments and issues on recycling of ships. Article by Dr. Nikos Mikelis, presented at the East Asian Seas Congress, Haikou City, Hainan Province, PR China, 12-16 December 2006.
http://www.imo.org/includes/blastData.asp/doc_id=7420/Developments.pdf

The IMO’s work on ship recycling – London 4-5 May 2005. Article by Sokratis Dimakopoulos
http://www.imo.org/includes/blastData.asp/doc_id=4892/Ship%20Recycling.doc

IMO DOCUMENTS

RESOLUTIONS
A.962(23) IMO Guidelines on Ship Recycling. Adopted 5 December 2003
http://www.imo.org/Environment/mainframe.asp?topic_id=874
MEPC.113(50) Ship recycling for the smooth implementation of the amendments to Annex I of
Marpol 73/78. Adopted 4 December 2003
A.980(24) Amendments to the IMO Guidelines on Ship recycling (Resolution A.962(230).
Adopted on 1 December 2005
A.981(24) New legally binding instruments on ship recycling. Adopted on 1 December 2005.

CIRCULARS

Circular Letters

Circular Letter No. 2579 First Session of the Joint ILO/IMO/BC Working Group on Ship Scrapping 08/09/2004

Circular Letter No. 2615 Intersessional meeting of the Working Group on Ship Recycling, 13 to 15 July 13/01/2005 2005

Circular letter No. 2769 Intersessional meeting of the Working Group on Ship Recycling 19/01/2007MEPC

MEPC/Circ.419 Guidelines for the development of the ship recycling plan
12/11/2004 http://www.imo.org/includes/blastData.asp/doc_id=4489/419.pdf

MEPC/Circ.466 Implementation of the IMO guidelines on ship recycling (Assembly Resolution 25/07/2005 A.962(230))

MEPC/Circ.467 Promotion of the implementation of the IMO guidelines on ship recycling
26/07/2005 (Assembly resolution A.962(230))

ASSEMBLY

A 23/19/1 Consideration of the reports and recommendations of the Marine Environment
Protection Committee. Draft guidelines on ship recycling approved by MEPC 49
Submitted by Greenpeace International

A 23/19/2 Idem. Draft guidelines on ship recycling approved by MEPC 49. Submitted by
ICS, on behalf of the industry working group on ship recycling (BIMCO, Intercargo, Intertanko, ICS, ITOPF, ICFTU, OCIMF, IPTA)

SUB-COMMITTEE ON FLAG STATE IMPLEMENTATION
11th Session (7 -11 April 2003)

Summary Reports : http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=106&doc_id=2677
FSI 11/15 Ship recycling-related matters. Draft IMO Guidelines on recycling of ships.

JOINT ILO/IMO/BC WORKING GROUP ON SHIP SCRAPPING
Terms of reference, Parties, Documents etc. http://www.basel.int/ships/iloimobcwg.html

1st Session (15 – 17 February 2005)
Joint ILO-IMO-Basel Convention Working Group on Ship Scrapping

First meeting: London, 15-17 February 2005.
Press release: http://www.ilo.org/pubcgi/links_ext.pl?http://www.imo.org/home.asp
and Report: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework/sectors/shipbrk/bcvg_05_rep.pdf

ILO/IMO/BC WG 1/8 Report of the Working Group

LONDON CONVENTION
25th Session (6 – 10 October 2003)
LC 25/16 Report of the 25th Session of the consultative meeting

27th Session (24 – 28 October 2005)
LC 27/16 Report of the 27th Session of the consultative meeting

MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COMMITTEE
44th Session (6 – 8 March 2000)

Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=358

MEPC 44/20 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its 44th Session (Section 16 –Recycling of Ships)

46th Session (23 – 27 April 2001)
Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=774
MEPC 46/23 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its 46th Session (Section 7 –recycling of ships)

47th Session (4 – 8 March 2002)
Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=1753
MEPC 47/20 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its 47th Session (Section 3 –recycling of ships)

48th Session (7 – 11 October 2002)
Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=2543
MEPC 48/21 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its 48th Session (Section 3 –Recycling of ships)

49th Session (14 – 18 July 2003)
Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=2798
MEPC 49/22 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its forty ninth session.

(Section 3 – Recycling of ships, Annex 3 – Draft assembly resolution – IMO guidelines on ship recycling, Annex 4 – List of future work items on ship recycling
50th Session (1 – 4 December 2003)
Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=3155
MEPC 50/3 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its fiftieth session

51st Session (29 March – 2 April 2004)
Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=3156
MEPC 51/22 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its fifty first session.(Annex 3: Terms of reference for the Joint ILO/IN40/BASEL Convention Working Group; Annex 4: Terms of reference for the Correspondence Group on Ship Recycling)

52nd Session (11 – 15 October 2004)
Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=3663
MEPC 52/24 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its 52 d Session (Section 3 Recycling of ships)

53rd Session (18 – 22 July 2005)
Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=4469
MEPC 53/24 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its 53rd session (Section 3 –Recycling of ships, Annex 7 – Draft assembly resolution – New legally binding instrument on ship recycling; Annex 8 – Draft assembly resolution – Amendments to the IMO guidelines on ship recycling (Resolution A.962(23)))

54th Session (20 – 24 March 2006)
Summary reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=6204
MEPC 54/21 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its 54th session
(Section 3 – Recycling of ships)

55th Session (9 – 13 October 2006)
Summary report: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=6219
MEPC 55/23 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its 55th Session. (Section 3 –Recycling of ships; Annex 7 – Statement by Greenpeace International in the ship recycling issue)

56th Session (9 – 13 July 2007)
Summary Reports: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=109&doc_id=7537
MEPC 56/23 Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its 56th Session. (Section 3 –Recycling of ships)

57th Session (31 March 4 April 2008)
Summary Reports:
INTERSESSIONAL MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON
SHIP RECYCLING 2nd Session (7 May 2007)

MEPC-ISRWG 2/2 Further development of the draft convention and of the draft guidelines. Report of the correspondence group. Submitted by Norway as co-ordinator of the correspondence group MEPC-ISRWG 2/2/1 Idem.

Suggestions for the development of the Convention. Submitted by Denmark MEPC-ISRWG 2/3 Idem. Draft guidelines for ship recycling facilities for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships.

Submitted by Denmark MEPC-ISRWG 2/INF.1 Idem. Comments on the draft Convention by Members of the Correspondence Group.
Submitted by Norway as co-ordinator of the correspondence group

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