Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) - A Mandatory Step Towards Responsible Ship Recycling

25 Aug 2017
Author: Dr. Anand Hiremath

Previously known as the "Green Passport", the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) has been significantly developed in recent years in its methodology of sampling, analyzing, and reporting hazardous materials. Furthermore, the IMO has made periodic amendments to the IHM and the current amended guidelines can be found in MEPC 269 (68). For end-of-life vessels, Part I, Part II and Part III of IHM are -required whilst on their way to their final destination. The European Union Ship Recycling Regulation ((EUSRR) requires that Perflourooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and Brominated retardants ((HBCDD) are sampled, analyzed and in a report according to the MEPC 269(68) requirements. The collected samples need to be analyzed as per the prescribed method analysis at an ISO 17025:2005 accredited laboratory facility. 

Though, IHM reports do not guarantee 100% accuracy over the quantity or the type of haz. materials on-board a ship, without this report, one cannot simply identify the location and the type of hazardous materials before sending the vessel to recycling. 

As per my observation, the degree of accuracy of haz. materials in an IHM report depend on the experience of the haz. mat expert who is conducting it and the type of laboratory he/she has chosen for analyzing the collected samples. Notably, the cost of an IHM report varies from one service provider to another. 

 At GMS, I am urging all the ship owners, irrespective of the recycling method they choose to dispose their floating assets, to take advantage of our IHM report service before sending their vessels for recycling. My work is committed to providing the highest quality of IHM reporting so that the ship recycling yards can benefit greatly from it through the identification of the location and quantity of waste that is to be generated during the recycling process. The aim is to facilitate the ship recycling yards in the planning for the safe and environmentally friendly management of waste well before the vessel arrives at the recycling facility and my job is to see through it. I am happy to receive enquiries on the know-how and the process we follow during the conduct of the IHM report, so you can send me your questions here: ahiremath@gmsinc.ae 

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About Author

Dr. Anand M. Hiremath is a Civil Engineer and holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati) India. He has a diploma in Industrial safety, is a qualified lead auditor for ISO 9k, 14k and 184.

Dr. Hiremath published the first practical handbook on ship recycling, entitled: 'The Green Handbook: A Practical Checklist to Monitor the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships' which highlights the procedures the GMS RSRP follows to help both Ship and Yard Owners recycle a vessel in an environmentally-friendly manner. Dr. Hiremath is the Course Director for the first-of-its-kind 14-week online course on Ship Recycling offered by Lloyd's Maritime Academy, London."

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