CONSULTATION BRIEF ON THE WASTE MANAGEMENT (SHIP RECYCLING)
The Waste Management (Ship Recycling) Regulations, 2019, were published by Legal Notice 84 of 2019 in the Government Gazette of Malta No.20,175 on 23rd April 2019. These regulations cater for the partial incorporation of the 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 into national law.
Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 entered into force on 30 December 2013, however its provisions began to apply only recently, from 31 December 2018. The EU Regulation is directly applicable and directly effective in Malta without the need to be transposed into national legislation, nonetheless article 22 requires that Member States lay down provisions on penalties applicable to infringements, and article 18 obliges Member States to designate the competent authorities and administration responsible for the application of the Regulation.
The main powers to implement and enforce the EU Regulation lie within the responsibilities of Transport Malta. In fact, a separate Legal Notice (LN 442 of 2018) has been published under the Merchant Shipping Act. The latter LN establishes penalties for non-compliance with the obligations set out in the EU Regulation, except for the obligation to require a permit to operate a ship recycling facility (and the relevant penalties for failure to obtain such permit) which is being encompassed through the Waste Management (Ship Recycling) Regulations, 2019.
The Waste Management (Ship Recycling) Regulations, 2019, therefore define the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) as the competent authority responsible for ship recycling facilities under the said EU Regulation 1257/2013 and establish penalties for noncompliance as far as operators of a ship recycling facilities are concerned.
The Waste Management (Ship Recycling) Regulations, 2019, fall under the Environment Protection Act (Cap 549) and consist of 4 regulations:
- Regulation 1: citation, scope and commencement of the regulations;
- Regulation 2: relevant definitions of terms used in the regulations;
- Regulation 3: the duty of operators of ship recycling facilities to ensure compliance;
- Regulation 4: offences and penalties.
The Regulations state, through regulation 3, that it is the duty of operators of recycling facilities to ensure that they are authorised by the competent Authority (i.e. ERA) to conduct ship recycling operations and to ensure compliance with the requirements of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation 1257/2013 and the provisions of the Environment Protection Act (Cap 549).
Regulation 4 makes it an offence for an operator of a ship recycling facility to fail to comply with any provision of the Waste Management (Ship Recycling) Regulations, and the provisions of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. An operator who commits or attempts to commit such an offence shall, on conviction, be liable:
- in the case of a first offence, a fine (multa) of not less than ten thousand euro (€10,000) but not exceeding fifty thousand euro (€50,000);
- in the case of a second or subsequent offence, a fine (multa) of not less than twenty thousand euro (€20,000) but not exceeding one hundred thousand euro (€100,000), or imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The Waste Management (Ship Recycling) Regulations, 2019, were published through the use of article 54 and article 55(2) of the Environment Protection Act (Cap 549) due to a declaration of urgency for their publication by the Minister responsible for the Environment. In line with article 55(3) of Cap 549, the public is invited to make submissions to ERA with their comments as to why and how these regulations could be amended.
The Waste Management (Ship Recycling) Regulations, 2019, are available from the following link.
Comments will be received by email on email@example.com, until 23rd May 2019.