Also, a requirement under the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships
2009, which is yet to enter into force and is a necessity for the IHM requirements to be fulfilled has been hastened by the EU SRR, reports Lloyd's Register.Under the EU SRR, all new ships delivered under an EU flag after December 31 2018 must carry valid IHM certification on board. All existing vessels, regardless of flag, will need IHM certification from December 31 2020, if calling at an European Union port or anchorage. Furthermore, all EU-flagged ships sold for recycling after December 31, 2018, require a Ready for Recycling Certificate, ensuring that they can only be processed at a recycling yard that is included on the European List of Ship Recycling Facilities. LR's senior ship recycling specialist Jennifer Riley pointed out that the EU SRR has brought forwards the International Maritime Organisation's Hong Kong Convention IHM requirement by a number of years. Even after the Hong Kong Convention has been ratified, the requirement for new ships to have valid IHM certification will not become mandatory for two years thereafter; and for existing ships, compulsory IHMs won't be required for seven years from ratification. Nikos Mikelis, a leading ship recycling expert and a principal architect of the Hong Kong Convention, believes the IMO's recycling regulations could still be at least four years from ratification. With German's accession [in July], seven countries have acceded to the Convention in the last six months, which is one more than those that acceded in the previous nine years. "The acceleration in the recognition of the need for the Convention to enter force the soonest possible probably reflects growing concerns over the enforcement of the regional EU SRR since the beginning of this year," Dr Mikelis said. "What remains now is for two of the major ship recycling nations to also accede to the Convention before the ship recycling industry can start operating under a uniform global regulatory platform."Dr Mikelis, who is also a non-executive director of GMS, the world's largest cash buyer of ships sold for recycling, believes that India now "holds the key to the convention's entry into force." India is not yet a signatory to the Convention. One problem, however, is that although these many Indian recycling yards have undergone the appropriate independent third party audits and shown that they satisfy the standards of the Hong Kong Convention and the EU SRR, the European Commission manages its own audit procedure and does not rely solely on the guidance of such independent third parties. Recycling volumes last year were down sharply on recent levels and are forecast to reach a total of only about 22 million deadweight tonnage (dwt) over the full year.A reduction in the supply of potential ships for recycling could help to stop the recent decline in prices - from typical levels of well over US$400 per light displacement ton in India to the mid $300s. Many challenges ahead, not least because the number of certified recycling facilities, complying with the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, falls far short of the capacity required to dismantle and recycle end-of-life vessels safely in the future. Capacity is particularly constrained for large ships including mega ships and capesize bulk carriers. So far, of the world's principal recycling nations, Turkey and India are signatories. Bangladesh and Pakistan have not ratified the Convention although there is growing pressure for these countries to do so. China is not a signatory either, although is no longer accepting non- Chinese flagged vessels for recycling. Apart from India, yards in these regions have been relatively slow to invest in the necessary upgrades and verification procedures required for Hong Kong and EU regulatory compliance.