The new standard for ship recycling, ISO 30000, can help meet the challenges facing the ship demolition industry once the new (International Maritime Organisation) IMO International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships comes into force, said a industry player.
The implementation of ISO 30000 along with the new IMO convention will have an impact on shipowners, shipbuilders and maritime suppliers, ship recyclers and governments and administrations.
Based on the 'plan-do-check-act' principle, ISO 30000 lays down a template that requires its user to set out a ship recycling policy, starting with planning for aspects of the recycling process such legal aspects, objectives, targets and programmes.
"Essentially, ISO 30000 applies to the entire process, from accepting a ship for recycling by the facility to assessing the hazards onboard the ship," said Lloyd's Register's Robin Townsend at a Ship Recycling forum in Dubai. "It works by identifying and complying with any applicable notification and import requirements for ships to be recycled and covers every aspect to carrying out the recycling process in a safe and environmentally sound manner."
ISO 30000 covers the conducting of required training and ensuring the availability of social amenities such as first aid, health checks, food and beverages.
It also covers storage and processing of materials and wastes from the ship; waste stream and recycling stream management, including contractual agreements; and documentation controls for the process, including any applicable notification of the final disposal of the vessel.
"The performance of each of the requirement is then subjected to rigorous checking, including monitoring and measurement; evaluation of compliance; non-conformance and corrective and preventive action; control of records and an internal audit. And finally the process concludes with a management review with the aim of achieving continuous improvement."
Townsend said although ISO 30000 was a voluntary code, its standards were of a degree sufficient to satisfy regulators, law enforcers and stakeholders, adding that it had already met approval from the European Union.
The EU's EMSA Study on the Certification of Ship Recycling Facilities recently said that with regards to the ship recycling facilities, ISO 30000 will ensure a more focused management system and a higher performance level with regards to health, safety and environment than any of the other standards. The final draft of the IMO's recycling convention was approved at MEPC 58 in October 2008, and is now due to be adopted at the IMO diplomatic conference in Hong Kong in May 2009.
Ship recycling activities are expected to increase this year as a decline in freight rates in the shipping industry force ship owners to send part of their fleet to scrap yards as more tonnage gets laid up.
More than 27 vessels of various sizes are believed to be ready for recycling this year at various yards around the world.
Dr Nikos Mikelis, Senior Implementation Officer for the Marine Environment Division at IMO, said authorities should take effective measures to ensure that ship recycling facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the IMO convention.
"For the IMO convention on ship recycling to be fully implemented, it will require the dedicated enforcement from flag and port states to ensure that all procedures are adhered to," said Mikelis.
The phasing out of single hull tankers as well as old tonnage deemed too old for economic consideration will continue to boost recycling activities this year.
Lloyd's Register said total eligible VLCC conversion market has amounted to 109 single hull VLCCs built between 1990 and 1996.
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