Difference between revisions of "Green Ships:Ship breaking Regulations"

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=== '''Strengths''' ===
 
=== '''Strengths''' ===
Many countries elude abiding by the endorsed regulations by operating under various port and flag states as convenient. Firstly, it obligates the Parties, irrespective of their status (e.g., State of Export, Import, Transit, flag or port State), to prohibit or not permit the export of hazardous and other wastes to parties, which have prohibited the import of such wastes. (Alam). It is difficult for every or any Convention to envision every possible evasion of the regulations, the Basel Convention has set the groundwork for subsequent Regulations and comprehend areas for improvement. The Basel Convention is environmentally sound management, which means taking all practicable steps to ensure protection of human health and the environment. (Alam). Being able to hold countries responsible for their avoidance and infringement of the laws is one step, although enforcing the illegal act is seal of solution for holding countries accountable. The Basel Convention defines “illegal traffic” of hazardous wastes and makes it a criminal act. (Alam). The prohibited transportation of hazardous waste is clear and indisputable, but the definition of what constitutes as hazardous is unclear leaving room for open interpretation in different locations. The Basel Convention's 7th Conference of Parties has recognised that end-oflife vessels containing PCBs, asbestos, heavy metals and other hazardous substances should be legally defined as hazardous wastes in international law. (Alam). The clarification of what hazardous waste is defined as further instills liability. Therefore, ships containing such hazardous constituents and destined for ship breaking should be defined as hazardous wastes, this is a significant area of reform for the Basel Convention which requires clarification. (Alam). The majority of the obligation of implementing a practical operation is largely undertaken by the importing state. The failure to prescribe a process by which to ascertain the information has meant that assessment is reliant on representations made by authorities in the importing state, this is problematic where lack of capacity and endemic corruption are regularly encountered. (Alam). There has been a newly suggested addition to the Basel Convention that focuses on two separate collection of nations. The Basel Ban Amendment prohibits all hazardous wastes from being transported from OECD nations to non-OECD nations. (Alam). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (34 countries founded in 1961)  establishes a total ban on exports of hazardous wastes from OECD and EC countries to developing countries. This fulfills the purpose of the convention, namely, “to prevent the developed nations from ‘dumping’ on the developing nations. (Alam)
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The Basel Convention laid the groundwork for the future of toxic waste regulation. It obligates parties, regardless of their status (e.g., state of export, import, transit, flag or port state), to prohibit the export of hazardous and other wastes to parties that have prohibited the import of such wastes.<ref name="alam"/> Furthermore, it defines “illegal traffic” of hazardous wastes and makes it a criminal act.<ref name="alam"/> The prohibition on the transportation of hazardous waste is clear and indisputable. The Basel Convention's 7th Conference of Parties recognized that end-of-life vessels containing PCBs, asbestos, heavy metals and other hazardous substances should be legally defined as hazardous wastes by international law.<ref name="alam"/>
 +
 
 +
The Basel Ban Amendment, a new addition to the Basel Convention, prohibits all hazardous wastes from being transported from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations to non-OECD nations.<ref name="alam"/> The OECD, which comprises 34 countries and was founded in 1961, established a total ban on exports of hazardous wastes from OECD and EC countries to developing countries. This fulfills the requirements of the Basel Ban Amendment, namely, “to prevent the developed nations from ‘dumping’ on the developing nations.”<ref name="alam"/>
  
 
=== '''Weaknesses''' ===
 
=== '''Weaknesses''' ===

Revision as of 08:38, 22 June 2015

Hong Kong Convention

Summary

The Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships is the most recent legislation that oversees the creation of clearer, stricter guidelines for occupational and environmental safety in ship recycling. It attempts to improve on the much older Basel Convention, and it applies to ships entitled to fly the flag of a Party or to ships and ship-recycling facilities operating under Party jurisdiction.[1] Adopted under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in May of 2009 after more than five years of negotiations, the Hong Kong Convention is expected to enter into force in 2015.[2] The aim of the Convention is to provide regulations on the design, construction, preparation, and operation of ships in order to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling. The Convention requires all vessels to carry detailed, regularly updated inventories of their hazardous materials.[2] Unfortunately for the environment, the original conditions of the Hong Kong convention were vague enough that many countries were able to sidestep the safety guidelines.[2]

Strengths

Although the Hong Kong Convention has come under scrutiny in some respects, it does successfully serve some functions. The Convention requires all vessels to carry detailed, regularly updated inventories of the ship’s hazardous materials.[2] In order to ensure compliance with this policy and close potential loopholes, the ships must be surveyed throughout their lifetimes to verify the inventories of hazardous materials. Ships must undergo an initial survey, surveys throughout their useful lives, and a final survey prior to recycling.[2]

The Hong Kong Convention tries to regulate all aspects of a ship's life (described by Bhattacharjee as ‘the cradle-to-grave-approach”).[2] Many conventions were developed with a tertiary prevention approach to ship recycling, protecting the environment and its workers. Few conventions, however, have turned their efforts to primary and secondary prevention methods.[2] Unlike the Basel Convention and other international treaties, the Hong Kong Convention addresses the crucial issue of ‘green ship building and design’.[2] The Convention also takes special care to address the environmental and occupational dangers associated with the ship-recycling industry.[1] Ship recycling yards must be authorized, and every ship recycled must have a ‘Ship Recycling Plan.’[2] ???Other conventions allow leniency to visiting ships operating through other parties, enabling them to slip through the cracks through other countries not operating or operating under less restricted policies.[1]

Weaknesses

Although the Hong Kong Convention is an update to the Basel Convention, the Hong Kong Convention has several key faults. First, it lacks instruction on the methods that should guide ship recycling and on the ‘final management of waste.’[2] The convention does not force shipbreaking countries or ship owners to improve present conditions, and it fails to demand the decontamination of ships within developed countries prior to their exportation.[2] Arguably, even the mention of ship recycling in the convention is a substantial improvement on the Basel Convention. Nevertheless, ‘the 2009 Hong Kong Convention itself does not introduce a compulsory and environmentally sound ship recycling method.’[2] In fact, the Convention does not entirely ban the practice of dismantling ships on beaches.

Another drawback of the Hong Kong Convention is that it does not account for all vessels. Among the excluded ships are ‘warships, naval auxiliary ships or other ships owned or operated by a Party and used only on governmental, non-commercial service.’[2]

The Hong Kong Convention’s focus on primary prevention is extraordinarily beneficial in many ways, but the vast majority of ships currently in use should also be addressed as their average lifetime of 20 years is a lengthy amount of time to go ignored and harm workers and the environment.??? Another potential flaw of the Hong Kong Convention is that much of the responsibility for managing ship toxins lies with recyclers – often the recyclers in poor countries who do not have the tools and capital to renovate and modernize their ship-breaking operations.[2]

The principal challenge of the Hong Kong Convention is enforcing it. Bangladesh and other developing countries do not recognize ship breaking as a legitimate industry. (Alam) Thus, ratifying the Hong Kong convention proves problematic. The Convention requires ‘the signatures of the five main ship recycling States: Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan and Turkey.[2] Is this old information?

AFS Convention

Summary

In 2001, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) created the Anti-Fouling Systems (AFS) Convention in response to the harmful effects of anti-fouling systems. In September of 2007, Panama became the 25th and final state (out of 166 IMO member countries) to ratify the convention. The AFS Convention entered into force and became binding for the 25 participating states (representing 25% of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage) in September of 2008.[3] One major asset of the AFS Convention is the sheer number of shipping countries that signed it. These 25 countries represent 38.09% (Different number?) of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage.[3]

Strengths

The IMO adopted the AFS Convention to address the harmful effects of anti-fouling systems, and in particular to halt the use of paints containing toxic substances such as TBT. The AFS Convention prohibited all use of TBT-based anti-fouling paints in 2008.[4]

Weaknesses

The prohibition of TBT-based paints in 2008 led ship owners to push for the quick removal of TBT-based paints. Unfortunately, this encouraged unsafe paint removal methods such as ship scraping that resulted in increased toxic waste in shipyards.[4]. This waste may harm marine life as well as ship workers who inhale paint particles.

European Commission

Summary

The European Commission (EC) as a whole works to create legislation in accordance with European Union (EU) treaties. In March of 2012, the EC adopted a proposal for new regulation on ship recycling. The proposal, which was called the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, was approved by the European Parliament in April, 2013.[2] The EC's newly implemented regulation operated under the governing Hong Kong Convention. It also invoked elements of the Basel Convention and aimed to implement an amendment to the Basel Convention (the ‘Ban Amendment’), which had not yet entered into force.[2] The legislation’s principal requirement was that European ships be dismantled in safe and environmentally sound facilities.[2] The EU has accepted responsibility, primarily that the Hong Kong Convention has forced countries to accept, for their flagged ships and reducing the negative impacts associated with ship-recycling without creating irrelevant economic burdens. According to the policy, all waste destined for disposal (including end-of-life ships and vessels) would be subject to the requirement of prior notification.[2]

Strengths

With the EU Ship Recycling Regulation in place, the European Union must take responsibility for its vessels and reduce its exports of toxic waste. Furthermore, European ships may only be recycled in facilities that are on a list of registered European recycling facilities. Recyclers must apply for inclusion on this list with evidence that they meet the stipulated requirements.[2]

Weaknesses

Basel Convention

Summary

The Basel Convention laid the groundwork for the future of toxic waste regulation. It obligates parties, regardless of their status (e.g., state of export, import, transit, flag or port state), to prohibit the export of hazardous and other wastes to parties that have prohibited the import of such wastes.[2] Furthermore, it defines “illegal traffic” of hazardous wastes and makes it a criminal act.[2] The prohibition on the transportation of hazardous waste is clear and indisputable. The Basel Convention's 7th Conference of Parties recognized that end-of-life vessels containing PCBs, asbestos, heavy metals and other hazardous substances should be legally defined as hazardous wastes by international law.[2]

The Basel Ban Amendment, a new addition to the Basel Convention, prohibits all hazardous wastes from being transported from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations to non-OECD nations.[2] The OECD, which comprises 34 countries and was founded in 1961, established a total ban on exports of hazardous wastes from OECD and EC countries to developing countries. This fulfills the requirements of the Basel Ban Amendment, namely, “to prevent the developed nations from ‘dumping’ on the developing nations.”[2]

Strengths

The Basel Convention laid the groundwork for the future of toxic waste regulation. It obligates parties, regardless of their status (e.g., state of export, import, transit, flag or port state), to prohibit the export of hazardous and other wastes to parties that have prohibited the import of such wastes.[2] Furthermore, it defines “illegal traffic” of hazardous wastes and makes it a criminal act.[2] The prohibition on the transportation of hazardous waste is clear and indisputable. The Basel Convention's 7th Conference of Parties recognized that end-of-life vessels containing PCBs, asbestos, heavy metals and other hazardous substances should be legally defined as hazardous wastes by international law.[2]

The Basel Ban Amendment, a new addition to the Basel Convention, prohibits all hazardous wastes from being transported from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations to non-OECD nations.[2] The OECD, which comprises 34 countries and was founded in 1961, established a total ban on exports of hazardous wastes from OECD and EC countries to developing countries. This fulfills the requirements of the Basel Ban Amendment, namely, “to prevent the developed nations from ‘dumping’ on the developing nations.”[2]

Weaknesses

As there are many definitive guidelines described in the Basel Convention, there are also some obscure policies established in the Convention. The ambiguities in the Convention. Articles. 4.1 and 6 of the Basel Convention stipulates that no shipment of waste should take place without all “States Concerned” being informed and consented. (Alam). It is well known that this requirement can be circumvented by unscrupulous waste ship traders by declaring a ship to be waste only after it is in international waters or already at the shipbreaking state. (Alam). The “prior informed consent” (PIC) mechanism requires that the state of export informs an importing state of any transfer, detailing accurately the nature and volume of the waste, and receives written consent from the state of import. (Alam). Violations have shown, however, that exporting parties frequently misrepresent the nature of the waste involved. (Alam). Abidjan disaster the waste concerned was described as ‘routine slops’, the dirty water from washing naval tanks, but was revealed to actually be a mixture of fuels, caustic soda and over two tonnes of hydrogen sulphide. (Alam). This lack of technical capacity has meant that importing states are often unable to ascertain whether the information provided is indeed correct. (Alam). The difficulties are further exacerbated by the fact that the Convention offers no explanation of ‘environmentally sound management’ beyond, ‘taking all practicable steps to ensure that hazardous wastes or other wastes are managed in a manner which will protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from such wastes’. 53 Exactly what is required then is subject to interpretation and conjecture. (Alam). This limitation has resulted in what is termed the ‘recycling loophole’. 59 It is argued that most waste transfers claimed to be for reuse or reclamation are either ‘sham recycling’, where future use is fabricated to disguise the fact that the waste is actually bound for dumping or ‘dirty recycling’, where the recycling process itself is harmful to the environment and human health. (Alam). Amendment struggles to take significant effect, as participation in ratifying the amendment is low and it has not entered into force yet. (Alam). no direct legal ban on the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries. (Alam). Basel Convention- Minimize amount and hazard level of wastes generated worldwide, where generation of hazardous waste is unavoidable such wastes should be disposed of as close to source of generation as possible, stresses environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous wastes (last point is vague in the treaty, not enforceable or accountable).[5] Basel Convention-failed to create fund to minimize damage from international hazardous wastes, did not prohibit transfer of hazardous waste but rather facilitated movement to countries with developing economies. (Dodds). Basel Convention totally exempts bilateral and multilateral agreements with nonparty countries(nonmember countries, US, and member countries, India, to enter into contracts for disposal of waste). (Dodds). 1989 Basel Convention not entirely adequate to challenge all risks and problems arising from ship recycling facilities. (Chang). Basel convention does not indicate detailed rules for the recycling process, because of this the IMO took ship recycling and its environmental impact onto its agenda. (Chang)

Miscellaneous Conventions

The Law of the Sea Convention 1982 contains obligations of the states concerning land-based environmental pollution of the sea; most important the obligations contained in Articles 192 and 194. According to Article 192, ‘states have the obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment’. Furthermore, states shall according to Article 194 ‘take […] measures […] to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment’. Bangladesh ratified this Convention in 2001 The Stockholm Convention can be relevant when considering Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) such as PCBs; a pervasive substance in many ships International Convention on the Control of Harmful Antifouling Systems on Ships 2001. It prohibits the use of anti-fouling systems that burdens the environment. Anti-fouling systems that use organotin compounds have to have an additional layer as a barrier to prevent the harmful substances from being released to the environment. substandard beaching yards the anti-fouling paint usually does not get removed professionally, but simply gets scaped off and released to the environment. damaging not only to the workers, but also to the coastal ecosystem. The requirement of over-coating worsens the problem because it makes it more difficult to remove the harmful bottom layer of paint. IMO dedicated legislator of global shipping industry since maritime catastrophes in 1960’s. (Chang) In addition, joint efforts with the IMO, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Conference of Parties to the 1989 Basel Convention were also made to establish a Joint Working Group on Ship Scrapping. (Chang) Since decision making process within IMO (International Maritime Organization) is base on principle of state sovereignty, state members are free to enter any IMO Convention. (Gipperth)

Green Ship Countries

Green Ship Countries

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Chang, Y., N. Wang & O.S. Durak. (2010). Ship recycling and marine pollution. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60, 1390-1396.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 Alam, S., & A. Faruque. (2014). Legal regulation of the shipbreaking industry in Bangladesh: The international regulatory framework and domestic implementation challenges. Marine Policy, 47, 46-56.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gipperth, L. (2009). The legal design of the international and European Union ban on tributyltin antifouling paint: Direct and indirect effects. Journal of Environmental Management, 90, S86-S95.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Stichnothe, H., W. Calmano, E. Arevalo, A. Keller & J. Thöming. (2005). TBT-contaminated Sediments: Treatment in a Pilot Scale. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 5(1), 21-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1065/jss2005.01.128
  5. Dodds, D. (2007). Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Environmental Effects of Shipwrecking and Possible Solutions Under India’s Environmental Regime. 20 Pac. McGeorge Global Bus. and Dev. L.J., 207, 208-236.