Recently the Dutch Public Prosecutor brought criminal charges against a Dutch shipowner for having sold a vessel to a “cash buyer” for further scrapping in a yard where current ship dismantling methods endanger the lives and health of workers and pollute the enviroment. The Dutch shipowner was fined by the Rotterdam Court but the decision, as far as we know, is questioned and the Dutch Shipowner is now considering the appeal.
The proceeding brought in the Netherlands open the question whether Europe Union is ready for the entrance in force of the Regulation 1257/2013 which is provided for the 31st December of 2018. In fact on 19 December 2016 the European Commission adopted the first version of the European List of ship recycling facilities, but the list of non European approved shipyard has not been published yet. The risk is that the capacity of the the European approved shipyard will not be sufficient to receive all the vessels to be scrapped in the next years by the European shipowners and consequently it is a concrete risk that the costs to recycle the vessels in compliance with the EU Regulation increase considerably.
It is our opinion that the European Commission shall consequently draw its attention to this problem and proceed without delay to the inspection of the non European shipyard in order to adopt the implementing acts according to the procedure of article 15 of Regulation 1257/2013.
As far as Italian law is concerned, with Decree 12 October 2017, the Minister of Instrastructure and Transport adopted the measures to authorize the recycling of the vessels. According article 5 of the said Decree a shipowner who intends to recycle a vessel shall declare its intention to the office where the vessel is registered. The office shall therefore transmit the information to the chief of the maritime compartment for the approval of the ship recycling plan and to the maritime authority where the facility is located. Such information shall include those of article 7 of Regulation 1257/2013, i.e. (i) the date on which the ship was registered within the State whose flag it flies; (ii) the ship’s identification number (IMO number); (iii) the hull number on new-building delivery; (iv) the name and type of the ship; (v) the port at which the ship is registered; (vi) the name and address of the ship owner as well as the IMO registered owner identification number; (vii) the name and address of the company; (viii) the name of any classification societies with which the ship is classed; (ix) the ship’s main particulars (Length overall (LOA), Breadth (Moulded), Depth (Moulded), LDT, Gross and Net tonnage, and engine type and rating).