The Bill and accession to the Convention was introduced in Lok Sabha on November 25, 2019.

What are the objectives of the Bill?

  • The Bill aims to provide for the regulation of the recycling of ships by setting certain standards and laying down the statutory mechanism for enforcement of such standards.
  • The Ship-Breaking Code, 2013 governs the ship recycling activity in India and lays down the standards for environmental protection and workers' safety. However, the aforesaid code does not provide penalties for contravention of the provisions thereof or deal with the restrictions and prohibitions on use of hazardous materials on ships. The Bill seeks to fill in such lacuna.

What is the extent of applicability of the Bill?

  • The Bill shall apply to:
    • Any existing ship which is registered in India,
    • A new ship which is required to be registered in India, wherever it may be;
    • Ships that enter a port, shipyard or offshore terminal or a place in India over which India has, or may have, exclusive jurisdiction with respect to control of pollution;
    • Any warship, naval auxiliary or other ship owned or operated by an Administration and used on Government non-commercial service; and
    • Ship recycling facilities operating in India.
  • The Bill exempts:
    • The Bill exempts:
    • Any warship, naval auxiliary, or other ships owned or operated by the Government and used for Government non-commercial purpose;
    • Ships of less than 500 gross tonnage.

What are the provisions in the Bill relating to the restrictions on use of hazardous material?

  • The Bill restricts and prohibits the use or installation of hazardous material by the ship. The owner of every new ship is required to make an application to the National Authority for a certificate on inventory of hazardous materials within a period of 5 years from the date of commencement of this Bill, which shall be issued or renewed for such period, not exceeding 5 years.

What is the process for re-cycling a ship under the Bill?

  • A proposed Ship Recycler can recycle a ship after a certificate of authorisation has been obtained by the ship recycler for ship recycling facility from the Competent Authority or an organisation recognised by it.
  • As per the Bill, the owner of a ship who intends to recycle his ship can do so after making an application to the National Authority for a ready for recycling certificate and the Ship Recycler is allowed to recycle any ship after preparing a ship recycling plan in accordance with the Bill.

Our view: Given that the Bill proposes to prohibit the use or installation of hazardous materials and to enable ships to be recycled only in authorized ship recycling facilities, the same should reduce concerns on environmental safety and deter violations by ship owners.

November 2019

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