THE RECYCLING OF SHIPS ACT, 2019

Author: Bhumika Kukreja, 1st Year, B.A LL.B(H), School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University. The article has been written by the author while pursuing the internship program with us. Introduction: Mr. Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Minister of State For Shipping, introduced The Recycling of Ships Bills on 25th November 2019 in Lok Sabha with restricting usage of hazardous material on ships. This bill proved out to be the massive step in the history of the maritime arena. Around $1.3 billion of India’s GDP is contributed by the ship industry. Among the 1000 ships recycled 30%of ships are recycled by India. This bill also ensures that all the ship owners obtain a national authority certificate on stock of prohibited hazardous materials. This bill is a floor which will be a way to enter the shipyards of India for the global ships. This bill will be applied to the facilities of ship recycling working in India, the newly registered ships, ships used by government for the noncommercial purposes, ships used for war administration, ships entering in territorial waters or the ports in India. Bill became an act: The Recycling of the Ships Bill became an act after receiving an assent on 13th December 2019 from the President of India, certain International standards and statutory mechanisms of such standards were laid down for the regulation of the bill by the government of India. This act stated that all the ships will be recycled under the authorized ship recycling facilities only which have the authorization certificate. Benefits of the bill: There are various benefits which are added to this bill are, it elevates the ship recycling sector as ships from various countries will come to get recycled, lot of investment opportunities as being the global recycler many of the companies are going to invest in recycling project in India, it will also help India in finding new environment friendly techniques which could be used by recycling industries for recycling, it will reduce the mining culture promoting sustainable development and raising employment and uplifting the steel manufacturing. Key features: Some of the key features of the bill include; ships will be recycled on the basis of specific ship recycling plan only, there should be no hazardous substances installed in the ship, to get recycled in India the ready to recycling certificate is must which should be in accordance with Hong Kong international convention, the recycling of ships is authorized, no hazardous material could be installed in ships for any of the non commercial purpose by the government. There are surveys which are conducted by the central authority so that it could be found that prescribed requirements are followed properly. Recycling process: There is a specific process which is being followed under the bill in order to recycle the ship in which the owner of the ship has to first approach the national authority via an application and get a recycling certificate which has a written permission for the recycling of the ship which is made by the authorized authority by physically examining the ship, and then the recycler makes the plan for recycling which again needs the approval of the authority. It is the primary duty of the recycler to ensure that the environment does not get polluted by any of the hazardous material from the ship, it is his duty to take due care that no environmental harm is cause while recycling process is going on, as if not taken care than the recycler might end up contravening the provisions mentioned in the act which will make him liable to pay compensation for the damages caused. Treaties and Conventions: There are various ship specific ship recycling plans which were made for the upcoming ships and vessels. After India acceded to the IMO treaty it became the 14th state which ratified the convention. The recycling industry has contributed a lot in the GDP as there is a lot of production and employment rise in the business sector which is gradually increasing the GDP in an economy. According to the provisions of factories act 1948 it is the duty of every recycler to take measures for emergency cases in the ship recycling facility .There are lot of health care facilities given to workers as well by providing them with health checkups and the insurance perks which is also the part of factories act and is the sole responsibility of the recycler. According to the 2018 UNCTAD report on Maritime Transport; it was found that around 6323 tons of ship scrap was demolished by India. This bill was based on the Hong Kong Convention as this convention aimed at safe recycling of ships so that there is no contamination leading to environmental issues, it was adopted in one of the diplomatic conferences which was held in China, 2009. The basic aim of convention was to ensure the recycling which should be environmentally friendly of the ships take place when they are reached at the last stage of their operating lives without compromising human health and safety. The convention raised its due consideration at various ship recycling locations around the world keeping in mind health and environmental issues at large. The central government holds the power to designate any officer of the government of India as a national authority for supervising and monitoring the activities which are taking place in ship recycling. The central government also holds the power to designate the competent authority to supervise in the areas of expertise. Purchasing and Selling of the ships for recycling purpose: The two very important aspects of recycling are the purchasing and selling of the ships for recycling. In case of purchasing the ship for recycling, at the anchor age the cash buyer gives the ship to the recycler. In order to move the ship from anchor to the shipyard there should be a MOA between the cash buyer and the recycler, a bank letter of credit is paid by the recycler which includes all the import tax duties, insurance, labor costs and various other costs which are applied on the ship whether it is cost of rentals or cost of utilities etc. everything is paid by the recycler, which is done for around 180 days, it basically depends on the ship size and number of days vary accordingly. Often recyclers face issues when there is a difference in their currency and that of his loan currency which is the greatest risk for them because of different exchange rates. Now let’s see how selling of ships for recycling takes place for selling the first step is talking to the shipbroker who expertise ship recycling then he will advertise the ship to various cash buyers with this the MOA will also be made, broker is just a mediator not the owner at any point of time, the ships are purchased by the cash buyers who further sell the ships to the recyclers for which a letter of bank credit is taken by them. The sale is completed when there is an execution of protocol of delivery and acceptance done among the cash buyer and owner of the ship. Reporting: When the recycling process is completed remembering the provisions of the act the ship recycler has to send the statement of competition specifying everything to the concerned authority, then further this authority passes the report to the national authority which contains various information like number of ships which underwent recycling process, number of ships which unfollowed the provisions of act and the action which were taken against them, this remarks the completion of recycling largely. Appeal: In fact any person not satisfied with the decisions taken by the national authority can directly approach the central government for the same under the procedure prescribed under the 30 days from the judgement, the appeal should be filed under sub section(I) which shall be disposed of in manner as prescribed. The compensation is imposed on ships if due to any investigation, the ship gets delayed and has no reasonable cause then it is entitled to pay the loss suffered. Conclusion: There are various authorities and provisions associated with this bill. This bill was not only a gateway which boon the economy but also helped in finding new environment protective measures which acted as a gift for all the recycling industries at large. This bill not only enhanced employment opportunities rather, it also uplifted the business sector by contributing towards steel production in the country. DISCLAIMER: Views and opinions as expressed in the Research Articles are solely of the author and any member of the core team of the website shall not be liable for the same.

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