Five of the EU's approved recycling yards have decided to join forces as they entered into an agreement to form the European Ship Recyclers Group (ESR).
Namely, the French Port of Bordeaux , Belgium-based Galloo, Smedegaarden from Denmark, Dutch Scheepssloperij Nederland and Spain's DDR plan to operate under the flag of the International Ship Recycling Association (ISRA).
"Our first target is to create awareness of the recycling capacity in Europe which today is over a million ton," said Peter Wyntin, ESR Chairman.
"We have to ensure that our member yards are on the top of the ship-owners' list for dismantling their ships. Our message is a clear one. If we can handle them let's keep the EU flagged ships in Europe," added Wyntin.
The European Ship Recyclers Group, which has an aim to unite all the green European recycling, will speak as one voice towards the European Commission which is in charge of implementation of the new EU Ship Recycling Regulation.
A representative from the NGO Shipbreaking Platform said that the move to raise awareness of existing best practice is "a very welcomed development," which highlights the fact that there is capacity in Europe to recycle ships.
The agreement comes less than three months after the European Commission (EC) adopted the first version of the European List of ship recycling facilities.
In December 2016, the EC said that demolition yards included in the list are located in Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The first 18 shipyards would have exclusive access to the recycling ships flying the flags of the EU member states, according to the EC.
Yards in third countries also submitted applications, however, the EC earlier said that it will decide on their inclusion in the list in 2017.