National Authority For Recycling Of Ships

On 15th October, 2020, the Central Government notified the Directorate General (DG) of Shipping as National Authority for Recycling of Ships under the section 3 of the Recycling of Ships Act, 2019.


About National Authority for Recycling of Ships(NARS)

NARS will be set up in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

The location of the office will benefit the Ship Recycling yard owners situated in Alang, Gujarat which is home to Asia’s largest ship breaking and ship recycling industry in the world.


Roles and functions:

As an apex body, DG Shipping is authorized to administer, supervise and monitor all activities relating to ship recycling in the country.

It will also be the final authority for the various approvals required by the ship-recycling yard owners and state governments.

Hong Kong Convention for Ship Recycling:

Under Ship Recycling Act, 2019, India has acceded to Hong Kong Convention for Ship Recycling under International Maritime Organization (IMO).

IMO adopted the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in 2009.

The guidelines are aimed at ensuring that ships, being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and the environment.

Please note, the Convention is yet to come into force because it has not been ratified by 15 nations, representing 40 per cent of the world merchant shipping by gross tonnage (capacity) and a maximum annual ship recycling volume of not less than 3 per cent of the combined tonnage of the countries.


Key Features

It restricts and prohibits the use or installation of hazardous materials, which applies irrespective of whether a ships meant for recycling or not.

Restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous materials would not be applied to warships and non-commercial ships operated by the Government.

Ship recycling facilities are required to be authorized and ships shall be recycled only in such authorized ship recycling facilities.

The Act also provides that ships shall be recycled in accordance with a ship-specific recycling plan.

 It imposes a statutory duty on ship recyclers to ensure safe and environmentally sound removal and management of hazardous wastes from ships.


issues with Ship Recycling Industry in India

Safety Issues

 Inadequate safety controls, badly monitored work operations and high risk of explosions create very dangerous work situations.

Lack of coordination for work procedures, basic risk-reducing or eliminating measures are often ignored and ultimately accidents occur.

Health Related Issues

 Exposure to other heavy metals found in many parts of ships such as in paints, coatings, anodes and electrical equipment can result serious health issues such as cancers.

Workers have very limited access to health services and inadequate housing, welfare and sanitary facilities which further exacerbate the plight of the workers.

Waste Management Issues

 Management of solid wastes generated in ship breaking is a major concern in India.

 Although these wastes constitute only around 1% of dead weight of a ship, the total amount in millions of tonne, make these wastes difficult to handle, posing a major risk both to health and environment.

Water Pollution

Water body, primarily the marine environment gets polluted in terms of suspended solids, nitrates, phosphate, heavy metals, oil and grease from bilge water.

Air Pollution

 Various air pollutants like furans and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), fine particulates are released during the breaking process of ship.

 It further contributes to air pollution from various ship breaking processes.


Way Forward

Given the current high human and environmental costs, it seems likely that ship owners and breakers, state mechanisms and international legislation will each need to continue to evolve and increase their cooperation to fill the gaps.

 Ship owners from their side need to incorporate a sustainable social and ecological responsibility as well when it comes to the recycling of their vessels.

A well balanced global list of compliant facilities can only remain when the facilities on it receive a good and constant flow of end-of-life vessels.

With the back drop of sustainability issues, this industry has the potential to be the prime economic activity in India.