Temporary relaxation for 6 months enforcement of IHM-obligations by EU
Latest news – Ship may get 6 months grace time after 2020 to get the EU Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) with a certificate or statement of compliance.
European Commission published a Commission Notice Guidelines on the enforcement of obligations under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation relating to the Inventory of Hazardous Materials of vessels operating in European waters on the Official Journal of the European Union (2020/C 349/01). The Notice mainly elaborates the compliance of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, the specific scenarios due to Covid-19 and a harmonised approach to it. The general guiding principles are also clarified in it.
The EUSRR dictates that all existing EU-flagged vessels as well as vessels with non-EU flags when calling at EU ports, will be required to carry an IHM identifying all the hazardous materials on board along with a Certificate/Statement of Compliance, by 31 December 2020 the latest.
However, the current situation is that Covid-19 restrictions have led to significant difficulties in surveying ships and producing certified IHMs. Industry stakeholders estimate that several thousand ships are likely to be unable to comply with the IHM obligations and may not have the required certification by the deadline of 31 December 2020. Hence, the Commission decides to establish some common guidelines in order to ensure a harmonised approach towards enforcement by the EU port States authorities during ship inspections as of 1 January 2021.
In relation to the enforcement of the Ship Recycling Regulation, two specific Covid-19 related scenarios are likely to happen that may require a more harmonised approach during inspections building on the general guiding principles with regard to the ‘case law’ and ‘EMSA’ guidance quoted in the context. The harmonised approach is suggested to be applied temporarily for a limited period of 6 months after the entry into application of the IHM-related obligations for existing EU flagged vessels and non-EU flagged vessels calling at EU ports (i.e. until 30 June 2021).
The two specific Covid-19 related scenarios are as follow:
Thus, it is a temporary relaxation for 6 months, and more significantly, it places all power for deciding whether to accept the evidence in the hands of the individual PSC Officer.
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