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Tuesday, May 26, 2020 

The UK P&I Club has published a guide for shipowners to ensure compliance with the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) legislation.

The guide addresses the technical aspects, important concepts, processes and requirements of the IHM, aiming to assist Members in ensuring compliance with the existing regulations and reduce the likelihood of reputational risks.

According to the Club, the IMO Hong Kong Convention and the European Union Ship Recycling Regulation are two key pieces of hazardous materials legislation which are already in force; a cornerstone in both is the IHM. The IHM is an important tool when the vessel has reached the end of its useful life and the recycling operation is being planned. It is used when a ship recycling plan is compiled, to ensure minimal environmental impact and safe working conditions in the recycling or scrapping yard.

Ship recycling involves the breaking down or dismantling of entire vessels. However, working practices found at the majority of ship recycling facilities have routinely fallen short of internationally acceptable standards. The traditional beaching methods commonly used during dismantling make it difficult to ensure worker safety and containment of pollutants.

Stuart Edmonston, Loss Prevention Director, UK P&I Club, said: “This guide is a valuable asset for ship-owners and is designed to inform and raise awareness of the critical issues around the current ship recycling legislation. It’s vital to comply with the Inventory of Hazardous Materials, and failure to do so can lead to costly litigation, both from a financial and reputational perspective for all involved.” 

The UK P&I Club’s Risk Focus report on Inventory of Hazardous Materials can be found here.

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