EU Parliament committee votes in favour of fund to reduce hazardous ship-recycling; NGOs applaud move

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Article
3 April 2013

EU seeks better solution for ship scrapping

Author: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

The majority of European ships are scrapped years later in Southeast Asian coastal junkyards under questionable working conditions and environmental controls...The European Union now wants to see European shipping companies take on more responsibility for disposal of the vessels...Thanks to an initiative by members of the European Parliament, European shippers may soon have to pay three cents per ton freighted into a special fund once they dock at EU harbors...It's a kind of disposal tax, which would be intended to improve working conditions and environmental standards... "The fact that a ship landing in a junkyard after however many years may originally have had a German owner does not mean that this first owner should be held responsible for some unapproved scrap disposal," said Ralf Nagel, head of the Association of German Shippers (VDR)...[Nigel says] "The European Parliament has good intentions, but it would really only create at best a few green recycling islands - but no concrete help for the people there."

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Article
26 March 2013

Press release – NGOs support EU Parliament Environment Committee call for ship recycling fund and off-the-beach stance

Author: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Today NGOs have applauded a breakthrough vote by a large majority of Members of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament (ENVI)...to create a Europe-wide ship recycling fund, an economic incentive to finance environmentally sound ship recycling and internalise the costs of proper hazardous waste management...The fund should eliminate the price gap to substandard facilities located on beaches in non-OECD countries where shipowners currently obtain the highest prices for their end-of-life ships, even when shipbreaking workers are killed and suffer from occupational diseases caused by the toxic materials present in these ships...[T]he NGOs [also] welcome the groundbreaking decision to outlaw beaching, the polluting and dangerous practice of breaking ships on tidal beaches...However, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and several legal experts also decry the Parliament’s Environment Committee for voting to remove toxic ships from the EU Waste Shipment Regulation, a proposal that would suddenly legalise the export of end-of-life ships built with asbestos, heavy metals or PCBs to non-OECD countries.

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