Bangladeshi parliament has passed a ship recycling bill as the country aims to improve working conditions in its shipbreaking yards.
Under the Bangladesh Ship Recycling Bill 2018, a part of the country’s efforts to boost its ship recycling industry, the owners are obliged to issue life insurance for all employees and be fully aligned with the relevant global laws and conventions, according to local media reports.
Additionally, the bill establishes a zone in Chittagong for the ship recycling industry under Section 4 of the draft law. The establishment of a yard without permission or outside the zone or importing ships without a no-objection certificate (NOC) would be punishable with maximum two years in jail and/or a fine from BDT 1 million to BDT 3 million.
Furthermore, importing a ship without a NOC from the shipping ministry, recycling a ship without NOC, as well as producing a fake NOC, would also be punishable by a prison sentence and/or a fine.
The bill also requires the formation of a 14-member board which would oversee ship recycling activities. The government of India would also set up a treatment, storage and disposal facility within three years after enacting the law for the management of waste from ship recycling.
Bangladeshi shipbreaking yards have long been under the spotlight due to poor working conditions which led to a number of fatal accidents at the yards.
With an annual gross tonnage capacity of more than 8.8 million, the Bangladeshi ship recycling industry is one of the world’s most important, second only to neighbouring India in terms of volume.