European Council sets stricter standards for shipbreaking, but falls short of banning social & environmentally harmful practice amid pressure from South Asian govts.

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Article
27 June 2013

EU Sets Rules for Ship Recycling Without Banning Beaching

Author: Costas Paris, Wall Street Journal (USA)

The European Council adopted a long-debated regulation on the lucrative ship-recycling business that sets strict requirements on environmental standards but doesn't prevent ships from being recycled on South Asia beaches...The European Council...opposed a ban on beaching amid pressure from South Asian governments...Council officials said the new regulation encourages shipyards in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan—where ships are pulled on sandy beaches and broken up by hand—to improve their methods to avoid toxic spills. But they don't expect European vessels will stop using South Asia recycling yards...The EU legislation is in line with an existing global proposal—the 2009 Hong Kong Convention—that regulates the scrapping industry by establishing standards that are safe for workers and environmentally sound..."My greatest relief is that Europe did not make the grave error of banning the beaching of European-flagged ships," [says former executive of the United Nations' International Maritime Organization]

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Article
27 June 2013

NGOs Do Not Support Newly Approved EU Ship Recycling Regulation:

Author: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform and European Environmental Bureau (EEB)...denounce the new EU Regulation on ship recycling voted today by the European Council...The NGO coalition warns that the Regulation will fail to change the current state of play. European shipping interests will continue to make significant financial profits by externalizing environmental and human health costs to the shipbreaking beaches of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and to the exploited workforce there...“We fear that the Regulation will end up applying to very few ships” said Jeremy Wates, Secretary General of the EEB. “Unless an economic incentive for all ships calling at EU ports is rapidly introduced, circumvention of the law will persist"...

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