European List of Approved Ship Recycling Facilities Updated with Yards in Turkey, U.S.

leyal ship recycling
Ship recycling at a Leyal facility in Turkey. Photo: Leyal

The European Commission has updated its list of approved ship recycling facilities in line with new rules that come into force next year under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, and for the first time it contains three yards located outside the EU.

The fourth version of the list, now published, contains a total of 26 shipyards, including 23 facilities located in the European Union, 2 facilities in Turkey and 1 facility in the United States of America.

Up until now only EU yards have been included on the list.

Under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, by December 31, 2018 all ships flying a European flag have to be recycled in a facility which is included on the so-called European List of approved ship recycling facilities. All yards included on the list have been determined to fulfill strict environmental and safety requirements set out in the EU regulation, thereby granting the yards exclusive access to the recycling of end-of-life ships flying the flags of European Union members. The regulation is also in-line with the international standards set forth in the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, which was adopted in 2009 but is yet to enter into force globally.

The latest version of the European List, released today, includes three “third country” yards, including International Shipbreaking Limited in Brownsville, Texas, United States and two yards in Turkey operated by LEYAL, the leading ship recycling group in Turkey.

One of the main arguments against the EU regulation is that the European List does not have enough capacity to keep pace with recycling demand. Many groups have therefor urged that the list should be opened up to countries outside the EU, including yards in Southeast Asia where ships are typically run aground and dismantled on the beach.

“The EU is committed to reducing the impact of EU shipping industry on the environment, including through better protection of environment and workers in ship recycling,” said Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. “The inclusion of the first yards located outside the EU is a major milestone and the recognition of very significant efforts and resources dedicated by the concerned yards towards this goal. The updated List will increase the recycling capacity of the European List, and give European ship owners a wider range of recycling options.”

It is important to note that yards outside the EU are technically eligible for inclusion, but so far only the three have been approved.

“The European Commission has received a number of applications from yards located in third countries,” the European Commission says on its website. “The applications are being thoroughly reviewed and site inspections conducted to check their credentials. The Commission then decides on their inclusion in the list.”