Norwegian shipowners commit to stop beaching ships

Signal of change / Norwegian shipowners commit to stop beaching ships

By Juliette Aplin / 25 Aug 2015

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) has issued a statement in Dagens Næringsliv, a Norwegian business paper, condemning the practice of beaching end-of-life vessels. In doing so, Norway has become the first country to commit its ship-owners to ensuring the proper end-of-life management of their ships.

The NSA’s CEO, Sturla Henrikson stated on the organisations website, “As an industry we can no longer defend that ships are broken in a way that puts health and the environment at risk. Therefore we say, as the first ship owners association in the world, no to the beaching of ships.”

Image caption: Chittagong Shipbreaking

Image credit: Adam Cohn / Flickr

So what?

The NSA’s commitment to stop dismantling ships on beaches adds momentum to a wider trend of improvement in shipbreaking practices across the shipping industry. 

This statement comes ahead of the European Commissions’ regulation requiring all EU registered ships to be recycled in approved sustainable facilities, expected later this year.

In part of its statement, the NSA assumes ship-owners will take responsibility for their ships from ‘cradle to grave'. Will this public commitment be sufficient in creating greater demand for safer and greener ship recycling facilities?

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform is now urging other shipowners, including the European Community of Shipowner's Association (ECSA) to follow Norway's committment. Patrizia Heidegger, Director of NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said "Greek and German companies sadly continue to top the listof ship owners that sell their vessels to South Asian yeards where it is widely acknowledge that not even minimum environmental and workers safety standards are met". She also added that "South Asian governments, on the other hand, need to assist their industry to develop to one that recycles ships off the beach."

Sources

Marine Executive (August 17, 2015) Norwegian shipowners to stop beaching

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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