The Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 has become an Act. It became Act after it received the assent of President of India on 13th December, 2019. The government decided to bring this Act to provide for the regulation of recycling ofships by setting certain international standards and laying down the statutorymechanism for enforcement of such standards. The Government has also decidedto accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe andEnvironmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.Accordingly, India has acceded to Hong Kong International Convention for Safeand Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 on 28th November, 2019.
The Recycling of Ships Act, 2019 restricts and prohibits the use orinstallation of hazardous materials, which applies irrespective of whether a shipis meant for recycling or not. For new ships, such restriction or prohibition on useof hazardous materials will be immediate, that is, from the date the legislationcomes into force, while existing ships shall have a period of five years forcompliance. Restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous materials would notbe applied to warships and non-commercial ships operated by Government.Ships shall be surveyed and certified on the inventory of hazardous materialsused in ships.
Under this Act, ship recycling facilities are required to be authorized andships shall be recycled only in such authorized ship recycling facilities.This Act also provides that ships shall be recycled in accordance with aship-specific recycling plan. Ships to be recycled in India shall be required toobtain a Ready for Recycling Certificate in accordance with the HKC.
The Act imposes a statutory duty on ship recyclers to ensure safe andenvironmentally sound removal and management of hazardous wastes fromships.Appropriate penal provisions have been introduced in the Act to deter anyviolation of statutory provisions.
Accession to Hong Kong Convention by India and enactment of Recyclingof Ships Act, 2019 will raise the profile of our ship recycling industry as beingenvironment friendly and safety conscious and would go a long way inconsolidating India’s position as the market leader.