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Ship recycling

Ship recycling



Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 on ship recycling


It aims to prevent, reduce and minimise accidents, injuries and other negative effects on human health and the environment when ships are recycled and the hazardous waste they contain is removed.


  • The legislation applies to all ships flying the flag of an EU country and to vessels with non-EU flags that call at an EU port or anchorage. The only exceptions are warships, other vessels on non-commercial government service and ships below 500 gross tonnes. It sets out responsibilities for ship owners and for recycling facilities both in the EU and in other countries.
  • Every new ship has to have on board an inventory of the hazardous materials (such as asbestos, lead or mercury) it contains in either its structure or equipment. The use of certain hazardous materials is forbidden.
  • Before a ship is recycled, its owner must provide the company carrying out the work with specific information about the vessel and prepare a ship recycling plan. This, for instance, identifies the type and amount of hazardous materials and waste that will be generated from the obsolete vessel.
  • Recycling may only take place at facilities listed on the EU List of facilities, which was launched by Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/2323. The facilities may be located in the EU or in non-EU countries. They must comply with a series of requirements related to workers' safety and environmental protection.
  • These requirements are designed to prevent health risks to the workers involved and the neighbouring population and to minimise any adverse effects on the environment. They also provide for specific training and protective equipment for employees dismantling the vessels and require a record to be kept of any incidents or accidents.
  • The legislation contains an authorisation process for ship recycling yards within the EU. Those in other countries must submit an application to the European Commission and demonstrate that they fulfil all the criteria in the regulation.
  • In 2014, the Council Decision 2014/241/EU was adopted, authorising EU countries having ships flying their flag or registered under their flag to ratify or to accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The Convention covers the design and construction of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally-sound recycling without compromising ship safety and operational efficiency. It also requires ship recycling facilities to operate in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner, and for mechanisms to be set up to ensure that ship recycling rules are complied with.
  • EU countries must submit reports on ship recycling every 3 years, including information such as lists of ships to which a ready for recycling certificate has been issued and information on illegal ship recycling. Amending Decision (EU) 2018/853 establishes that reports should cover three years.


It has applied since 31 December 2014. However, some rules apply from 31 December 2020.


For more information, see:


Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on ship recycling and amending Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 and Directive 2009/16/EC (OJ L 330, 10.12.2013, pp. 1-20)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Decision (EU) 2018/853 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 and Directives 94/63/EC and 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Directives 86/278/EEC and 87/217/EEC as regards procedural rules in the field of environmental reporting and repealing Council Directive 91/692/EEC (OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, pp. 155-161)

Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/2323 of 19 December 2016 establishing the European List of ship recycling facilities pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on ship recycling (OJ L 345, 20.12.2016, pp. 119-128)

See consolidated version.

Council Decision 2014/241/EU of 14 April 2014 concerning the ratification of, or the accession to, the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009, by the Member States in the interests of the European Union (OJ L 128, 30.4.2014, pp. 45-46)

last update 15.05.2020