On 10 December 2014 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published a Consultative Document (CD) on proposals for a UK wide consultation on the authorisation of UK ship recycling facilities.
EU Regulation 1257/2013 on ship recycling implements the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The EU Regulation applies to ships flying the flag of a Member State and excludes warships and ships of less than 500 gross tonnes.
The European Commission will establish a European List of ship recycling facilities that meet the requirements of the EU Regulation. Owners of ships over 500 tonnes flying the flag of an EU Member State can only send their ships for dismantling in facilities that appear on the European List.
The CD proposes that separate GB and Northern Ireland Ship Recycling Regulations will:
appoint joint competent authorities (in NI this will be DOE and HSENI) covering environmental and health and safety controls;
require the production of a ship recycling facility plan which details how an authorised ship recycling facility complies with the requirements of the EU Regulation.
Defra has written to all existing UK ship recycling facilities to make them aware of the new EU Ship Recycling Regulation and to discuss compliance with its requirements. The three key UK facilities with an interest in being authorised (including Harland and Wolff, the only ship recycling facility in Northern Ireland at present) have been involved in the development of these measures.