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European Parliament votes against scrapping levy

On Thursday, the European Parliament voted against a proposal to indtroduce a levy on all ships entering EU ports as a means to finance a scrapping fund.

Photo: IMO

A proposed levy on ships that call in European ports, intended to form the basis of a scrapping fund, was voted down by the Europea Parliament today, Thursday. The levy was proposed by the Parliament's environment, public health, and food safety committee (ENVI). Instead of passing the proposal, the members of the European Parliament approved an amendment encouraging the EU Commission to introduce a bill for an incentive-based system, which will ensure easier, more sound rules for scrapping.

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The Danish Shipowners' Association is pleased that the proposal was voted down:

"Region EU legislation is not the right way to do this, as they don't solve the core problem - the unacceptable scrapping conditions that to some extent still exist in Asia," says chief consultant at the Danish Shipowners' Association, Maria Bruun Skipper, in a statement on the association's website, adding that:

"The goal of ensuring proper environmental- and working conditions at the scrap yards, primarily based in India, China, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, will not be met through regional, European legislation. A levy on all ships that call in European ports would also mean that, for instance, Danish shipping companies that do their scrapping under proper conditions would be forced to pay for the irresponsible behavior of other companies," she says.

Rather, the association supports the EU's proposal from the international Hong Kong convention under the IMO, which was passed in 2009, though it remains unclear when it will receive final ratification, a process that could take a long time, says several sources.

"Reason triumphed at the European Parliament, not least because the Danish members made sure that their colleagues received a fact-based reality check. But our work in Brussels isn't over, though we can continue the process of approving an ambitious scrapping scheme based on a sound foundation," says Simon C. Bergulf, head of the Danish Shipowners' Association's office in Brussels.

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Scrapping proposal takes flak from shipowners and ports

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