BIMCO and other shipping organisations have written to the EU Commission outlining the challenges faced by shipowners affected by the pandemic in preparing their inventory of hazardous materials (IHM) and obtaining the necessary documentation prior to the European Union Ship Recyling Regulations (EU SSR) compliance deadline of 31 December 2020
The heads of BIMCO, Intertanko, Intercargo, the European and Asian shipowners’ associations, Cruise Line International Association, International Chamber of Shipping, and International Marine Contractors Association issued a letter to the EU Commission requesting a 12-month delay, citing regulatory delays in getting the methodology fixed for what the IHMs need to contain as well as problems to fix site visits in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
If the 31 December 2020 deadline cannot be met, BIMCO recommends developing IHMs on the oldest ships first as they are more likely to be recycled.
In May 2020, BIMCO asked its members if the pandemic had presented challenges to shipowners, who were in the process of completing their IHM and obtaining the necessary documentation prior to the compliance deadline of 31 December 2020.
Responses indicated that approximately 137 (58%) of the 236 ships operated by respondents would be affected by the new regulation. Out of the affected ships, 33 (24%) had prepared an inventory of hazardous materials, while the rest were at various stages of compliance. The IHM process of almost all the respondents had been affected by the ongoing pandemic.
From 31 December 2020, the EU SRR will require ships of 500 gt and above flying the flag of countries in the EU and all other ships regardless of the flag, to carry an inventory of hazardous materials when visiting an EU or European Economic Area port.
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