Global Marketing Systems, Inc (GMS), the world’s largest cash buyer of ships for recycling, has challenged the European Commission’s intention to ban ship recycling by beaching, by inviting the Commission and a major representative group of top level shipping industry stakeholders to India to witness the recycling process first hand at one of the country’s best yards.
Addressing a high-level industry conference in London, Dr Nikos Mikelis, non-executive Director of GMS, said ship recycling yards were improving in South East Asia and the best way to see this was to visit the yards in person.
GMS also used the conference to call on Panama and the Marshall Islands to accede to the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in order to satisfy calls by the International Chamber of Shipping and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) for a level playing field in global recycling. Ratification by these two large flags would speed up entry into force of the Convention.
GMS said it would be willing to invite officials from EU Member States; experts on hazardous materials; representatives of ship owners or ship owner associations; the IMO Secretariat and the European Commission to see the improvements that have taken place in Indian recycling yards.
The observers would then be requested to compile a report of their findings.
Dr Mikelis said that while progress was being made in Indian yards, it could “come to an abrupt end through the ill-advised efforts to ban ship recycling by beaching through the Unit of Waste Management of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment.
“We can only hope that the administrations of right-thinking European States will avert the tragic mistake that has been brewing in Brussels through the regulator’s lack of understanding on international shipping and ship recycling.”
He added: “Progress could also slowly come to a halt if yard owners who are investing in improvements do not realise any financial gain through the custom of responsible ship owners seeking safe and clean recycling in the period prior to the entry into force of international requirements. As entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention is practically subject to accession by India, we have a classic ‘chicken and egg’ situation if there is no financial motivation to the yards.”
Dr Mikelis said the CSR policy of a responsible ship owner who cares that ship recycling standards are sustainable across the industry and not only within his company “must encourage, through his custom, yards which have invested in safety and environmental protection, regardless of whether these yards are located in South Asia or elsewhere”.
• Global Marketing Systems, Inc (GMS) was founded in the USA in 1992 after it started acquiring naval vessels for scrap from the US Maritime Administration in Washington DC and has since grown into becoming the world’s largest Cash Buyer of ships for recycling.
• Over the years it has succeeded in helping to modernize the ship recycling industry and, through its efforts, has done much to strengthen the credibility and transparency of the global demolition sector.
• GMS is the world’s FIRST ISO 9001 certified Cash Buyer with a proven track record spanning over two decades. And with more than 2, 500 deals under its belt, it has grown to become the leader of the ship recycling industry.
• Many of the world’s largest ship owners sell their vessels exclusively to GMS. In 2012 alone the company recycled over 16.5 million DWT (ie roughly 300 ships) or nearly one third of the world’s fleet sold for recycling
• GMS has invested considerable resources into green recycling and continues to support ship recycling yards around the world in both an advisory and financial capacity. Recently, with technical assistance of GMS, four ship recycling yards in Bangladesh were able to obtain Certification for ISO 9001, 14001, 18001 and 30, 000.
• GMS is also the FIRST and ONLY Cash Buyer to develop a Green Ship Recycling Program (GSRP) together with Germanishcer LLoyd (GL) to meet the highest standards of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the ship recycling industry. GMS continues to lead the ship recycling industry with innovative and practical solutions. Over the years, it has become the acknowledged ‘voice’ of the recycling industry in international fora.
• GMS has offices in the USA, Germany, Dubai, China, Singapore, and Japan as well as exclusive representatives in all five of the major recycling markets including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Turkey