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Shipping industry risks being caught off guard over IHM - IMarEST

With the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) for ship recycling to become compulsory for vessels calling at European ports IMarEST has warned of a “quagmire of upheaval” for the shipping industry.

The IHM and sustainable ship recycling were the topic Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) UAE branch technical meeting last week in what was a lively session.

The meeting was held against the backdrop of the EU implemening the Ship Recycling Regulation which requires a certified IHM for all vessels calling European ports from December 2020 onwards, and it has been compulsory for European-flagged vessels being re-cycled since 2016.

Nikeel Idnani, honorary secretary of the IMarEST UAE branch described the IHM as a “quagmire of upheaval” as the shipping industry risks being caught off guard next year when vessels will need to have the inventory onboard. He emphasized the importance of the IHM as they allow recyclers to know exactly what hazardous materials are onboard a vessel and where they are located.

Rakesh Bhargava, director of Sea Sentinels, highlighted the fact that the regulations have been designed to improve existing shipbreaking practices and the health and safety of ship maintenance personnel.

He noted that while in principle the preparation of IHMs are crucial for green ship recycling, potential problems include the quality and contents of the IHMs, considering the mounting pressures on shipowners, surveyors and the capacity of those tasked with drawing up the inventories to cover the global commercial fleet of 30,000 ships before the deadline kicks in.

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