India’s Parliament has changed its ship recycling law to bring it in line with global standards
The Recycling of Ships Bill 2019 was passed by the Indian Parliament on 9 December 2019. The bill ratifies the Hong Kong Convention.
The Convention was adopted by IMO though it is not yet in force. It is hoped that this move will see the Convention’s entry into force.
The new Act is part of India’s efforts to boost its ship recycling capacity by 40% by 2024.
India’s Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Lal Mandaviya said India wants to raise its global share in ship recycling business to 60% and almost double its contribution to the country’s GDP to about US$2.2Bn after the enactment of the new Act.
Mr Mandaviya, speaking to the Press Trust of India, said that direct jobs from the recycling sector were likely to double to about 90,000 adding, "There are 53,000 merchant ships globally. Every year 1,000 are recycled and 300 are recycled in India, which is 30% of global recycling. After the Recycling Bill, we expect it to touch 60% as the bill provides for acceding to the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009. We expect ships for recycling from many nations."
India, Pakistan, China and Bangladesh process 90% of the ships recycled globally, with India scrapping 6,323 tonnes in 2017.
The existing Shipbreaking Code (revised) 2013 and the provisions of the Hong Kong Convention, 2009 are part of the Act bringing India’s laws in line with global standards.
However, ships in India are frequently broken directly on the beach instead of at industrial sites, a practice that has been described as unsafe and hazardous.
This year, The Economist reported that of the 744 ships broken in 2018, 518 were dismantled on beaches.
Regarding these issues, Mr Mandaviya said the issues of environmental and workers’ safety had been adequately addressed in this bill and subsequent Act.
Key features of the Recycling of Ships Act 2019
Riviera Maritime Media’s Webinar on compliance with the upcoming Inventory of Hazardous Materials can be viewed here.