ISO has launched the first document of a new series of management system standards for the recycling of ships. The new series, ISO 30000, Ship recycling management systems, will support environmental protection and increase the safety of workers.

Ship recycling contributes to the global conservation of energy and resources. However, the presence of asbestos, hydrocarbons and other environmentally hazardous substances in ships can, if the scrapping process is not carefully controlled, have negative repercussions for the environment and human health.

The ISO 30000 series thus aims to provide assistance to organizations implementing or improving a ship recycling management system through guidance on the allocation of resources, assignment of responsibilities, and ongoing evaluation of practices, procedures and processes.

Capt. Charles Piersall, Chair of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 8, Ships and marine technology says: “ISO 30000 has been developed to assist stakeholders – large and small – in the uniform implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) requirements on ship recycling. The series of standards will increase transparency, facilitate trade, provide a clear reference for industry and constitute a valuable risk assessment tool. These ISO standards can be used by any organization and for ships of all types and sizes, everywhere, employed in international and domestic trades alike."

These standards will be useful, among others, for the ship recycling industry, shipyards, shipping industries, ship owners, maritime research institutes, universities for maritime technology, ministries of shipping, navy, labour and the environment, port authorities, classification societies and inspection agencies.

Other standards in the series, currently under development, will address best practice, assessments and plans, guidelines for the selection of ship recyclers, requirements for certification and audit bodies, information for the control of hazardous materials and methods for removing such materials, including asbestos. These documents are expected to be available later this year as PAS.

ISO 30000 has been developed with the cooperation of IMO and other international organizations. It will support and supplement the work of the IMO Conventions, guidelines and regulations, and other requirements to be issued by IMO relating to ship recycling, as well as the work of IMO/International Labour Organization (ILO)/ United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP-Basel Convention) Working Group.

ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden comments: “ISO consensus-based standards constitute an important technical complement to different areas of IMO’s work. That is why ISO cooperates closely with IMO to develop standards that support IMO requirements and regulations, while carefully avoiding any overlap. Together, ISO and IMO provide a strong concerted contribution to ensuring a cleaner and sustainable marine environment and worker safety.”

ISO International Standards on ship recycling will provide transparency and improve communication, fostering trust among partners in the recycling/scrapping chain. The ISO 30000 series will "level the playing field" for enterprises and regulators by providing one reliable and concise reference source for implementing ship recycling. Among its further advantages, the series will also constitute a useful risk assessment tool for public authorities and industry, as well as an aid in the selection of suppliers and subcontractors.

ISO 30000 follows the same Plan-Do-Check-Act approach of the other ISO management system standards, with which it is also compatible, notably ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 28000 (security in the supply chain).

The series is being developed by ISO/TC 8, Ships and marine technology, working group WG 1, Ship recycling.

ISO/PAS 30000:2008, Ships and marine technology – Ship recycling management systems – Specifications for management systems for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling facilities costs 90 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing & Communication department (see right-hand column).