A new analysis has shown that ship-recycling yards approved by the European Union have enough capacity to handle demand from EU-flagged ships that need to be scrapped. So there’s no need to resort to sub-standard facilities.

According to a new report by NGOs Shipbreaking Platform and Transport & Environment (T&E), the shipping industry wants low-cost ship ‘breaking’ yards outside the EU (with dangerous working conditions and poor environmental standards) to be added to the EU list of approved facilities in order to meet demand from vessels bound by the bloc’s ship recycling law, which enters force on 1 January 2019.

But the current EU list can accommodate the numbers and sizes of EU-flagged ships that are scrapped every year, according to the report.

“The shipowners’ capacity claims are a clear red herring,” said Ingvild Jenssen, director of Shipbreaking Platform. “Alternatives to beaching end-of-life ships exist. It boils down to not accepting the low occupational safety and environmental protection standards that allow many unapproved yards to operate cheaply.”

Lucy Gilliam, shipping officer at T&E, added: “The business of breaking EU ships is an opportunity to boost circular economy and create green jobs in Europe. EU-listed yards have the capacity to break all EU-flagged ships and more. There is no excuse for sending ships to dangerous and polluting yards on beaches overseas.”

The issue will be discussed by the European Commission, national experts and stakeholders on October 3.