In the Club’s recent article, EU Ship Recycling Regulation: Update and reminder for all EU flagged ships, Members were reminded of the requirement in the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR) for all EU flagged ships and all non-EU flagged ships of 500 GT and above, calling at EU ports and anchorages, to have on-board a completed inventory of hazardous materials (IHM) by 31 December 2020. The European Commission (EC) has however recognised that lockdown measures and widespread travel restrictions introduced to control Covid-19 have led to significant difficulties for surveyors to go on-board ships to undertake surveys and to produce certified IHMs. It is estimated that several thousand ships are likely to be unable to comply with the IHM obligations and to have the required certification by 31 December 2020.
The EC therefore published EC Notice 2020/C 349/01 on 20 October 2020 (i) to provide guidance to Member States for a more harmonised approach to enforcing obligations stemming from the EUSRR in two specific Covid-19 related scenarios, and (ii) agreed a temporary qualified extension of 6 months to the 31 December 2020 deadline (i.e. until 30 June 2021). The two scenarios are:
1) Vessels without a valid IHM and/ or accompanying certificate
In all such cases, the owner/master will need to provide evidence that all possible measures were taken to undertake the work and get the certification required. Such evidence may include e.g. a service contract for sampling or a survey. It may also include a justification as to why it was not possible to obtain a semi-completed IHM and associated certificate as referred to below, including evidence of impossibility to comply with other elements of the certification. Simply claiming that this non-compliance is due to the Covid-19 situation will not suffice.
2) Vessels with a semi-completed IHM with associated approved Certification that does not contain an on-board sampling
In all such cases, a remote survey/ sampling could be exceptionally accepted if there is evidence that the flag State has agreed to this. There will also have to be documented plans and arrangements kept on-board the ship indicating when it will be feasible for qualified samplers to complete the IHM. It is then for the inspector to decide whether this evidence is acceptable on a case-by-case basis. If the inspector is satisfied with the evidence provided, the Owner will be given another 4 months from the date of the inspection to complete the IHM and to get the same approved.
Members are strongly recommended to read EC Notice 2020/C 349/01 in full for the EC’s detailed guidance.
Source: The UK P&I Club