Fabian Demicoli

Consultation Session on Ship Recycling

MEUSAC, together with MEPA and Transport Malta within the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications, are organising a Consultation Session on Ship Recycling. The recycling of end-of-life ships is an issue of international concern. Worldwide, between 200 and 600 large merchant ships are broken up and recycled every year, as their steel, other scrap metal and equipment constitute valuable raw materials. The industry provides thousands of jobs, yet environmental, occupational health and safety conditions are very poor.

As many of these ships sail under the flag of EU Member States, and even more are owned by European companies, the situation is of concern to the EU. In fact, the European Commission has adopted a number of Communications in this regard. The last Communication (COM (2010) 88) assesses the link between three legal instruments namely:

the United Nations (UN) Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal (the "Basel Convention" – it is already in force at European level);

Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006/EC on shipments of waste, and

the International Maritime Organisation Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the "Hong Kong Convention"). The EU cannot become a party to this Convention; only the Member States may do so.

In this Communication the Commission is urging all EU Member States to ratify the Hong Kong Convention as a matter of priority, so as to facilitate its entry into force as early as possible and to generate a real and effective change on the ground. On December 15, 2010, the European Commissioner for the Environment sent a letter to Malta enquiring on the steps Malta has taken towards the ratification of the said Convention.

Comments received during the session will be taken into consideration in the preparation of Malta's position during discussion on ship recycling at both EU and UN levels.

The session, which will be conducted in Maltese, is being held as follows:

Friday April 29, 2011

Time: 14.00 – 16.00 hrs

Venue: 254, Europe House, St Paul Street, Valletta

Should you be interested in attending kindly inform Ms Francine Caruana at your earliest on your earliest.

Kindly further note that for security reasons, you will be requested to show your ID card at the Reception to be allowed entry. Kindly send also your ID card number when registering your attendance.

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