Cabinet approves Recycling of Ships bill, 2019

The Union Cabinet on 20th November, 2019 approved the proposal for enactment of Recycling of Ships bill, 2019. It also nodded to the Hong Kong International Convention for safe and environment sound recycling of ships.

Background

India is one of the leaders of ship recycling industry with a share of 30% of the market. According to UNCTAD’s report on “Review of Maritime Transport, 2018”, in 2017 alone India has demolished 6323 tonnes of known ship scrapping all over the world. Though the industry is labor intensive, it is susceptible to concerns on environmental safety.

Salient Features

The bill is being enacted by GoI in order to regulate the recycling of ships. This is done by setting international standards and laying down statutory mechanisms to enforce such standards.

The bill also accedes to the Hong Kong International Convention for safe and environment sound recycling of ships, 2009. The convention aims to ensure that the ships after reaching the end of their operational lives do not pose any threats to human and environment. It was organized by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) in Hong Kong. The regulation includes facts that ships sent for scrapping may contain environmentally hazardous substances like hydrocarbons, asbestos, ozone depleting substances and others. It addresses the concerns around such factors.

Benefits

The bill restricts and prohibits the use of hazardous materials from the ships brought for recycling. For new ships, such restrictions are already in place. However, this is not applied to war ships and non-commercial ships. Under the bill, the ship recycling facilities need to get authorized.

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