EU eases IHM regulation control until 30th June 2021
The Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) is a set of documents consisting of the total amount of hazardous materials and their whereabouts onboard a vessel. The IHM is necessary to regulate non-hazardous materials in vessel building and operations.
Due to the multiple challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been leeway given by the European Union (EU) on the obligations under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation to have the IHM certification onboard.
As suggested by the European Commission (EC), the EU member can file application for six months after 31st December 2020 of the IHM-related obligations. This is mainly for existing EU flagged ships and non-EU flagged ships calling at EU ports or anchorages and Members will have until 30th June 2021 to apply for the valid IHM.
In this approach, vessels can refer to the steps below for more details:
- In all cases of non-compliance, including a semi-completed IHM, the burden of proof is on the shipowner/ship master, who should provide evidence of all the measures taken to undertake the IHM work and obtain the required certification and documentation. Force-majeure is not an option.
- Port State control (PSC) inspectors are advised to assess evidence provided on a case-by-case basis depending on the ship’s specific circumstances in question and decide accordingly. In case of acceptance, shipowners/ship masters have 4 months after the PSC inspection to complete the IHM.
- Suppose the agreed plans are changed due to the Covid-19 travel and access restrictions. In that case, the shipowner/master shall gather sufficient written evidence from the IHM inspectors because IHM is incomplete for checking by the next PSC inspector.
Refer to the latest guidelines here for more details: 2020/C 349/01