Govt approves proposal to enact legislation for recycling of ships

The government on Wednesday approved enactment of a legislation for recycling of ships as per international standards.

The government has decided to enact a Bill, namely Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019, to provide for the regulation of recycling of ships by setting certain international standards and laying down the statutory mechanism for enforcement of such standards, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said after the Cabinet meeting.

It has also been decided to accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009, she added.

When the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 comes into force, its provisions will be implemented under the provisions of the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 and rules and regulations framed there under.

The proposed Bill restricts and prohibits the use or installation of hazardous material, which applies irrespective of whether a ship is meant for recycling or not.

For new ships, such restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous material will be immediate, that is, from the date the legislation comes into force. Existing ships will have a period of five years for compliance.

Restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous material would not be applied to warships and non-commercial ships operated by Government, she said.

Ships shall be surveyed and certified on the inventory of hazardous material used in ships.

Under the Bill, ship recycling facilities are required to be authorised and ships shall be recycled only in such authorized ship recycling facilities.

The Bill also provides that ships shall be recycled in accordance with a ship-specific recycling plan.

Ships to be recycled in India shall be required to obtain a 'Ready for Recycling Certificate'.

India is the leader in the global ship recycling industry, with a share of over 30 per cent of the market. As per UNCTAD report on Review of Maritime Transport, 2018, India had demolished 6,323 tonnes in 2017, of known ship scrapping across the world.

The ship-recycling industry is a labour-intensive sector, but it is susceptible to concerns on environmental safety.

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