The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) has called upon the European Union (EU) to include an additional number of ship recycling facilities into its list of approved facilities to fill the gap that currently exists in the sector.

The capacity expansion is expected to help the owners to comply with a new regulation that requires all the ships flying under a European flag to be recycled in a facility that is included in the EU list.

ECSA noted that non-EU facilities such as Indian facilities that are compliant with the ship recycling requirements should be included in the EU list.

The European Commission is currently inspecting ship recycling facilities to expand the list of approved facilities in order to ensure safe and environmentally friendly ship recycling.

ECSA secretary general Martin Dorsman said: “A lot has been written lately on whether or not the current list meets the capacity needs for the European flagged fleet to be recycled in a safe and environmentally sound way.

“We were and still are worried that there is not enough capacity and certainly welcome the Commission’s current efforts to enlarge the list.”

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“We were and still are worried that there is not enough capacity and certainly welcome the Commission’s current efforts to enlarge the list.”

A recent explanatory note jointly published by the European Commission and European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) revealed that the average tonnage of EU flagged vessels recycled is 588,000 light displacement tonnes (LDT) between 2013 and 2017.

The report also said that the average tonnage of ships that changed the flag from an EU flag is 432,000 LDT during the same period.

The difference between the two makes around 1,020,000 LDT as the average during those five years.

The EU Ship Recycling Regulation (SRR) does not describe capacity as the average LDT recycled over a period of ten years, but the maximum recycled in any year of the last ten years.

As per the report, 2012 was the busiest year for EU-listed ship recycling facilities over the last ten years, resulting in 1,998,000 LDT, which is much higher than the available capacity calculated, said ECSA.

ECSA has also rendered its support to the ratification of the Hong Kong convention to ensure improved working and environmental conditions of the global ship recycling industry.