On December 13, 2019, the President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind approved the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019. After his assent, the bill became an Act with effect from December 13, 2019. The act provides the recycling of ships by setting certain international standards and laying down the statutory mechanism for enforcement of such standards. India also acceded to the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 with effect from 28th November 2019.Recycling of Ships Act, 2019:
i.The already existing Shipbreaking Code (revised),2013 and the provisions of the Hong Kong Convention, 2009 will be dovetailed (joined together) in this act.
- The act prohibits the use or installation of hazardous materials in the ship irrespective of whether the ship will be recycled or not.
- Ships shall be surveyed and certified on the inventory of hazardous materials used in ships.
- A statutory duty on ship recyclers will be imposed under the act.
- Existing ships will be given 5-year compliance to remove the hazardous material.
- New Ships will be prohibited to use the hazardous material with immediate effect from December 13, 2019 onwards.
- Warships and other non-commercial ships will not be given restriction on usage of the hazardous material.
- Ship recycling facilities are required to be authorized and ships shall be recycled only in such authorized ship recycling facilities.
iii.Ready for Recycling Certificate: Ships to be recycled in India will need to obtain a ‘Ready for Recycling Certificate’ in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention. In this regard, a large number of recycling plots, especially at Alang,Gujarat, have obtained Statement of Compliance (SOC) with the Hong Kong Convention.
iv.Benefits of the act: Some of the benefits of the act are as follows:
- Number of global ships entering into Indian Shipyards for recycling will be increased under this act and would also boost employment and business opportunities.
- The brand value of Ships Recycling Yards located at Alang in Gujarat, Mumbai Port(Maharashtra), Kolkata Port (West Bengal) & Azhikkal in Kerala will be increased.
- 10% of the country’s secondary steel needs, will be met in an eco-friendly manner.
- The act would ensure environment friendly recycling process of ships and adequate safety of the workers in the shipyard. The act is mainly focused with the workers’ safety concerns.
v.Hong-Kong Convention(HKC): The HKC is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and the environment.
vi.India’s share in global ship recycling industry: India has a share of over 30% of the global market in the ship recycling industry.
About Ministry of Shipping:
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Minister of State (MoS- independent charge)- Mansukh Laxmanbhai Mandaviya (also Mos of chemicals and fertilizers).