1 Introduction
Clasification Society 2024 - Version 9.40
Statutory Documents - IMO Publications and Documents - Resolutions - Assembly - IMO Resolution A.962(23) – IMO Guidelines on Ship Recycling – (Adopted on 5 December 2003)Amended by Resolution A.980(24) - Annex - IMO Guidelines on Ship Recycling - 1 Introduction

1 Introduction

  1.1 Ships, at some stage, reach the end of their operating life. The life cycle for most ships, from “cradle to grave” or “makers to breakers”, gives a life span of operation of 20-25 years, or more. In 2001, the OECD noted an increasing casualty rate for older ships remaining in operation, especially for bulk ships and tankers. The steady withdrawal of older ships and their replacement by new tonnage, therefore, is a natural commercial process which provides the opportunity for the introduction of safer and more environmentally friendly designs, greater operating efficiency and a general reduction in marine risk.

  1.2 In general, recycling is one of the basic principles of sustainable development. For the disposal of time-expired ships there are few alternatives to recycling - lay-up only postpones the issue; there is only a limited opportunity to convert ships for other uses such as storage facilities, breakwaters or tourist attractions; scuttling, strictly controlled by the London Convention, gives no opportunity for the steel and other materials and equipment in a ship to be recycled.

  1.3 So, recycling is, generally, the best option for all time-expired tonnage. Furthermore, demand for ship recycling is expected to rise in the near future as ships, particularly oil tankers, which do not conform to the new international requirements set by the MARPOL Convention, reach the end of their commercial lives.

  1.4 While the principle of ship recycling is sound, the working practices and environmental standards in the recycling facilities often leave much to be desired. Although responsibility for conditions in the recycling facilities has to lie with the countries in which they are situated, other stakeholders can contribute towards minimising potential problems related to health, safety and protection of the environment in the recycling facilities and should apply these Guidelines.

  1.5 These Guidelines have been developed to give guidance to all stakeholders in the ship recycling process. This includes flag, port and recycling States, authorities of shipbuilding and maritime equipment supplying countries, as well as relevant intergovernmental organisations and commercial bodies such as shipowners, shipbuilders, marine equipment manufacturers, repairers and recycling facilities. Additional stakeholders include workers, local communities, environmental and labour bodies.

  1.6 These Guidelines seek to:

  • .1 encourage recycling as the best means to dispose of ships at the end of their operating lives;

  • .2 provide guidance in respect of the preparation of ships for recycling and minimising the use of potentially hazardous materials and waste generation during a ship's operating life;

  • .3 foster inter-agency co-operation; and

  • .4 encourage all stakeholders to address the issue of ship recycling.

  1.7 In general, these Guidelines accept that the obligation for environmental and worker protection in ship recycling facilities must rest with the recycling facility itself and with the regulatory authorities of the country in which the recycling facility operates. Nevertheless, it is acknowledged that shipowners and other stakeholders have a responsibility to address the issues involved.

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