Ships Recycling Bill becomes an Act, but Govt exempts itself from hazardous material restrictions

New Delhi: The Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019, has become an Act after receiving the assent of the President of India on 13 December. The Government decided to bring this Act to provide for the regulation of recycling of ships by setting certain international standards and laying down the statutory mechanism for enforcement of such standards. The Government has also decided to accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships as of 28 November, 2019.

The Recycling of Ships Act, 2019, restricts and prohibits the use or installation of hazardous materials, which applies irrespective of whether a ship is meant for recycling or not.

For new ships, such restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous materials will be immediate, that is, from the date the legislation comes into force, while existing ships shall have a period of five years for compliance.

Restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous materials will not be applied to warships and non-commercial ships operated by the Government. Ships shall be surveyed and certified on the inventory of hazardous materials used in ships.

Under this Act, ship recycling facilities are required to be authorized and ships shall be recycled only in such authorized ship recycling facilities. This Act also provides that ships shall be recycled in accordance with a ship-specific recycling plan. Ships to be recycled in India shall be required to obtain a Ready for Recycling Certificate in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention.

The Act imposes a statutory duty on ship recyclers to ensure safe and environmentally sound removal and management of hazardous wastes from ships. Appropriate penal provisions have been introduced in the Act to deter any violation of statutory provisions.

Accession to the Hong Kong Convention by India and enactment of the Recycling of Ships Act, 2019, will raise the profile of our ship recycling industry as being environment friendly and safety conscious and will go a long way in consolidating India’s position as the market leader, said the Ministry of Shipping in a Press communication.

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The ID Staff

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