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Shipping’s green road is littered with regulatory hurdles

Environmental issues and the regulatory hurdles that owners will have to comply with to meet them were the focus of a presentation from Watson Farley & Williams this morning, held as part of London International Shipping Week

Partners at shipping law firm fill audience in on technology, regulations and practicalities of meeting new responsibilities to the planet

THE shipping industry faces a raft of regulatory hurdles if it is to address environmental issues, according to law firm Watson Farley & Williams.

Speaking at a London International Shipping Week event, partner Toby Royal described the latest developments in fuel efficiency and emissions reductions, including the technical innovations collectively known as energy-saving technologies.

These technologies, including kite sails, low friction hull coatings, Flettner rotors and hull bubble generators, require a cost benefit analysis based on robust verifiable data before owners can take an informed commercial decision on whether or not to adopt them.

WFW was one of the advisors for the new Vessel Technical Advice Service, which offers owners the requisite guidance.

Mr Royal also discussed International Maritime Organization requirements for data collection systems on ships of 5,000 gt or more, which will collect data on fuel consumption.

Once the data is analysed, flag states or recognised organisations will issue vessels with a statement of compliance, subject to port state control inspection, and data will be added to the IMO’s ship oil consumption database.

The European Union has also brought in a regulation on monitoring, reporting and verification.

The industry is urging that the two sets of rules be brought into convergence.

Nick Walker, who is also a partner at WFW, outlined the regulatory framework for the disposal of waste.

This includes the Basel Convention and the EU Waste Regulation, as well as the measures specifically aimed at ships, such as the International Maritime Organization’s Hong Kong Convention and the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.

The Convention, which regulates waste — with end-of-life ships classed as waste within the meaning of its stipulations — has been ratified by 187 countries, including the EU.

At EU level, it prohibits the export of waste for disposal to non-European Free Trade Association countries, although ship recycling is deemed to be recovery, allowing end-of-life ships to be sent to traditional shipbreaking countries.

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