The Director-General of the UK Chamber of Shipping, Mark Brownrigg, has welcomed today’s (Thursday’s) announcement that the European Parliament has rejected proposals for a levy on ship recycling.
“The UK Chamber of Shipping looks forward to significant improvements of social and environmental standards in ship recycling facilities around the world after the European Parliament today voted against proposals for a levy on recycling that would have severely impaired progress.
“The UK Chamber has been working intensively to ensure that UK MEPs were fully aware of the proposed levy’s consequences on ships calling at EU ports, which would have deterred uptake of the truly international Hong Kong Convention, designed to improve standards for workers and the environment in recycling facilities globally.
Mr Brownrigg said that without the ratification of the Hong Kong Convention, the poor standards encountered in some facilities around the world would be perpetuated and a levy also had the potential to harm European trade, as well as driving more transport onto the continent’s roads with consequent rises in traffic and greenhouse gas emissions.
“The proposals took the form of suggested amendments by the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, which had not sought the advice of its peers in shipping and ports, to the positive work already being carried out by the European Commission which is largely supportive of the Hong Kong Convention.
“Following the defeat of the most harmful part of these amendments in the form of the levy, the UK Chamber of Shipping urges and looks forward to swift ratification of the Hong Kong Convention by EU member states, and alignment of the EU with that international approach.
“We thank all those MEPs who voted against the amendments, so avoiding harmful consequences across a range of areas. Also invaluable in spreading the word on this important issue have been the shipping and ports associations of other EU states, and the international associations ECSA, ICS and ESPO.”