The Regulation

The Regulation (EU) no 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on ship recycling (EUSRR) is a regional regulation which entered into force in 2013.


The EUSRR applies to ships on international voyages, of 500GT and above, flying the flag of a Member State or the Flag of a third country under the conditions of Article 12 of the Regulation.

The EUSRR shall not apply:

    1. any warships, naval auxiliary, or other ships owned or operated by a state and used, for the time being, only on government non-commercial service.
    2. ships of less than 500 gross tonnage (GT);
    3. ships operating throughout their life only in waters subject to the sovereignty or jurisdiction of the Member State whose flag the ship is flying.

The EUSRR applies to all vessels of any type whatsoever operating or having operated in the marine environment including submersibles, floating craft, floating platforms, self-elevating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs, as well as ships stripped of equipment or being towed.

Application Dates

The requirements of the EUSRR state:

  • By the date of general application EU-flagged new ships will need an IHM in the build contract. (this date will be no later than 31/12/2018).
  • By 31 December 2020 EU-flagged existing ships will need to maintain a certified IHM on board
  • By 31 December 2020 non-EU flagged existing ships calling at a port or anchorage of an EU member state must have on board an IHM with a valid Statement of Compliance.

European Lists of Approved Facilities

Significantly, the Regulation also sets out the eventual development of a "European List" of approved facilities, which yards located in non-EU States must also apply to join if they wish to recycle ships registered with EU flag States.

In addition to the EU SRR text, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has published the following documents:

  • Best Practice Guidance on the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (28 October 2016), which is ‘non-binding’ and ‘nonmandatory’;
  • Study of two hazardous substances (PFOS and HBCDD) included in the annexes of regulation (EU) 1257/2013 on ship recycling (13 November 2017).

Relevant References

- Regulation (EU) No. 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on Ship Recycling

- Guidance on inspections of ships by the port States in accordance with Regulation (EU) 1257/2013 on ship recycling

- EMSA Guidance on IHM

- Technical guidance under Regulation (EU) 1257/2013 on ship recycling

- EMSA’s Study of two hazardous substances (PFOS and HBCDD) included in the annexes of regulation (EU) 1257/2013 on ship recycling, published November 2017.

EUSRR and Hong Kong Convention comparison

The EUSRR’s requirements for the development of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) are in fact almost entirely based on the respective requirements of the HKC. In addition, an IHM developed in accordance with the EUSRR shall be complied taking into account the relevant IMO guidelines (MEPC. 269(68)).

In the wake of the adoption of the HKC, the IMO has published a number of guidelines on ship recycling. As per the EUSRR, the IMO guidelines, in their updated form, shall be taken into account when compiling the IHM (MEPC.269(68)), preparing a Visual Sampling Checking Plan -VSCP- (MEPC.269(68)), conducting flag State surveyor detailed inspections of the port State (MEPC.223(64)).

It is to be noted that the EUSRR sets out a number of additional requirements that go beyond those set in the Hong Kong Convention, on control of hazardous materials and approval of ship recycling facilities. In this regard, "EMSA's best practice guidance on the inventory of hazardous materials" is based on the EU specific requirements when these requirements go beyond those set in the Hong Kong Convention.

Therefore, EU compliance documents may be used for the verification and issuing of Hong Kong Convention compliance documents.

SRR has different time lines for the application of the requirements, depending on specific ship stage, EU or non-EU flagged, etc.

SRR sets additional requirements for approved ship recycling facilities to:

  • Control of any leakage, in particular in intertidal zones
  • Handle Hazardous Material (HM) and waste only on impermeable floors with effective drainage systems - Operate from built structures
  • Implement standards for downstream waste management

Compared with the Hong Kong Convention, the EUSRR has additional requirements for the preparation and scope of the IHM on board ships either flying the flag of a Member State or a flag of a third country:

  • In addition to the 13 substances stated in Appendix 1 and 2 of HKC, two more have been added in EUSRR, namely PFOS (listed in Annex I) and HBCDD (listed in Annex II).
  • PFOS reporting is mandatory for EU-flagged ships but is not required for third country ships.
  • HBCDD reporting is mandatory for EU-flagged new ships and should be reported as far as practicable for both existing EU-flagged ships and existing third country ships.
  • According to the Regulation, PFOS on-board ships shall be prohibited for EU-flagged vessels. PFOS can be found in of the AFFF (Aqueous film forming foam) type fire-fighting foams on ships carrying inflammable fluids and those with helicopter decks, hydraulic fluids, cable sheath, coatings and adhesives.
  • HBCDD can be found in expanded polystyrene (EPS) used for cryogenic insulation, such as for liquefied gas tanks (LGT), refrigerated areas and similar, as well as in electrical extension cover, polymer material of switch board, fire sensor/alarm cover, light cover, cable sheath, polymer made fire resistance insulation, coatings and flooring material.
  • Furthermore, unlike the Hong Kong Convention that allows new installations containing hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) until 1 January 2020, the EU Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 does not permit such a relaxation.
  • To comply with both HKC and EU SRR where HCFCs have already been installed on existing ships information should be recorded in the IHM (if present over the stated threshold value).
  • To comply with EU SRR (and go beyond HKC requirements) newbuild ships and existing ships cannot newly install HCFCs on board from the date of application of the EU SRR.