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Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on ship recycling and amending Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 and Directive 2009/16/EC (hereinafter the ‘EU Regulation’) became applicable on 31 December 2018.

The purpose of this Regulation is to prevent, reduce, minimise and, to the extent practicable, eliminate accidents, injuries and other adverse effects on human health and the environment caused by ship recycling. The Regulation seeks to enhance safety, the protection of human health and of the Union marine environment throughout a ship′s life-cycle, in particular to ensure that hazardous waste from such ship recycling is subject to environmentally sound management.

Additionally, the Regulation lays down rules to ensure the proper management of hazardous materials on ships, and aims to facilitate the ratification of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.

In terms of the Regulation, the installation or use of Hazardous Materials listed in Annex I of such Regulation shall be prohibited and/or restricted in accordance with the definitions and control measures set out in the said Annex I. Each new ship is required to have an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) on board verified by the recognised organisation and identifying at least the hazardous materials referred to in Annex II and contained in the structure or equipment of the ship, their location and approximate quantities. Existing ships and ships going for recycling will be required to have on board an IHM which shall identify, at least, the hazardous materials listed in Annex I of the Regulation. Existing ships will be required to have the IHM on board as from the 31 December 2020 while ships that are going for recycling have been required, as far as practicable, to have an IHM on board since the date of publication of the European list (19 December 2016). In all cases, the IHM must be properly maintained and updated throughout the operational life of the ship.

Furthermore, ships covered by the scope of the EU Regulation may only be recycled at facilities that are included in the European List of approved ship recycling facilities

( Shipowners must provide the relevant facility with all available information relating to the ship for the development of the Ship Recycling Plan that is required under Article 7 of the Regulation and conduct all other necessary preparations as required under Article 6 of the EU Regulation. When preparing to send a ship for recycling, shipowners must notify this Directorate in writing not less than one month before the intended start of recycling, together with the information indicated in Article 6 (1)(b) of the Regulation.

Ships shall be required to carry on board a valid certificate attesting the inventory of hazardous materials or a valid ready for recycling certificate, as applicable, in accordance with the EU Regulation.

The full text of the EU Regulation may be accessed at:

This document does not purport to give legal, financial or tax advice. Should you require further information or legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Denise Abela.