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As economist Alan Greenspan once suggested, people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.  It is critical to bear this in mind as one watches the recent Icelandic “Kveikur” documentary titled "Where Eimskip ships go to die", produced by the Icelandic television and radio network “Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV)”

Unfortunately, the insatiable appetite for NGOs seeking media attention from news and media outlets chasing ratings seems to be once again the fuel feeding the misinformation and falsehoods that have been reported by the Icelandic media in this so-called "documentary" regarding two vessels that were recently sold by Eimskip. 

In the poorly researched and misinformed 30 minute documentary, so-called "journalists" who are on the hunt for sensationalized stories to garner viewer ratings, have carelessly "reported" false information in an effort solely to motivate interest through "tabloid-style" journalism and storytelling.  It is no surprise, they have also included references to an earlier debunked BBC news story which inaccurately reported on ship recycling and recruited the notoriously ill-informed and highly aggressive NGO Shipbreaking Platform, in an effort to paint a picture more akin to a fictional show rather than an actual non-fiction news story. 

At GMS, our company operates on three foundational principles and values of professionalism, integrity, and performance. We conduct our business based on FACTS, not fiction. With these principles and values at the forefront of our work, we consider it our duty to confront the Icelandic journalists' inaccuracies in the Kveikur program.   

FALSE ACCUSATIONS - It is essential to first address a general theme throughout this "documentary" that implies EIMSKIP somehow acted illegally or criminally when they sold two of their container ships that were eventually recycled.  It is crucial to understand that these ships, which were Faroe Islands-flagged and later converted to Liberian flag, were lawfully sold to legitimate ship owning entities as further trading deals.  The sales of these assets were based on standard MOAs (Memorandum of Agreements) and had absolutely no reference point to recycling.  Although not legally relevant as these ships were sold for further active trading, neither the Faroe Islands nor Liberia falls under the EUSRR (European Union Ship Recycling Regulation) for the recycling of ships. 

Right after delivery of the vessels, the ships were put on charter, trading in northern Europe. The vessels remained on time charter and operated until the end of their minimum redelivery periods. 

The devastating economic effects of COVID-19 have been felt worldwide, and the container market has been one of the hardest-hit sectors in the shipping community. As a result of the massive reduction in container cargo movements during the late spring, the assets in question were redelivered.

After failing to find employment for the ships, owners put the ships in the market for further resale. At least one of the ships was committed to buyers but failed on subjects. Subsequently, owners had to sell the ships for recycling at a much lower price than the assets' anticipated residual value. Frankly, EIMSKIP was fortunate to find a trading buyer and monetize the assets' full trading value for its shareholders when it did, and EIMSKIP's management should be APPLAUDED for acting in the best interests of the company and their stakeholders at the time.  

Neither Eimskip nor the owners of the vessels had engaged in any illegal or criminal activity whatsoever, although the Icelandic documentary and the NGO Platform's comments in this regard falsely direct the viewer to assume that some level of illegal activity had taken place.  Such statements could be viewed as defamatory.

DISTORTED SAFETY CLAIMS - The program also incorrectly frames the number of deaths in Alang and its safety record, claiming that there are "dozens of injuries weekly" and that there are "no hospitals" in the area.  GMS already clarified and debunked these falsehoods in its earlier response to the BBC documentary referred to and cited in this program. Although even one death is unacceptable by any measure or standard, our goal is to foster a recycling industry with ZERO casualties.  With this said, it is also essential to bear mind that in the USA alone, there are over 20 industries and sectors that have death rates higher than the ship recycling industry in India.  In fact, based on a recent Business Insider news article using information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the death rate of the Indian ship recycling industry compared to US industries would fall somewhere between construction equipment operators (ranked #20) and professional athletes (ranked #24). 

The documentary also falsely claims there are "no hospitals" in the area; however, there are THREE 24 hour hospitals in Alang alone.  Locations and details of these three hospitals can be easily observed through a simple Google search—something producers of the film failed to fact check, let alone physically come to Alang to visit the site themselves.

NEGATIVE BIAS & AGENDA - The program has an obvious bias towards supporting the European Union Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR), and the EU approved yards which are included as part of the EUSRR.  The producers suggest that the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) is not "formally recognized" and that no recognized certifying agency supports or follows its mandates.  This is, in and of itself, wholly inaccurate and one of the many clear examples of the program's underlying bias agenda, as the program also failed to mention that the United Nations specialized agency that developed the HKC for regulating international shipping, called the IMO (International Maritime Organization), did so as a means to regulate globally the "Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships." The HKC has now been ratified by 15 countries, many of which are from Europe, including European maritime nations such as Germany, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands.  Further to this, four leading IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) members currently give Certificates of Compliance, after conducting physical audits, to Indian based recycling yards that qualify. This list includes well-known international members such as Class NK, RINA, LR, and IR. 

It is also important to note that the internationally formed “Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI)” members' policies on ship recycling, recognizes, supports and adheres to the Hong Kong Convention. 

Furthermore, the program ignores the fact that the HKC was primarily created and developed by the international community to ensure that it adequately guided and allowed for the inclusion of southeast Asian based recycling yards, given that their participation has always been deemed critical to the success of ANY large scale international ship recycling regulations.  The initial architects of the European regulations intended for their efforts and guidelines to serve as a means to help usher in the HKC itself more quickly. These facts and many more are omitted as they do not suit the journalists and the NGO Platform, as they inconvenience and contradict their biased narrative and agenda.

STEREOTYPED BIAS NARRATIVE (The West vs. India) - In an effort to diminish and degrade the HKC and to portray the recycling methods utilized in South East Asia in a negative stereotypical way, the program focuses on the "gravity method" of recycling, insinuating that it is "unique" only to South East Asia and that it is inherently "bad for the environment." The reality is that this tried and tested method of recycling maritime assets is used in many places around the world, not just South East Asia.  In fact, this method is not very different from practices regularly used in the West for dismantling old buildings and large commercial structures.  In the West, it is often referred to in the construction and building industry as "controlled demolition," however, this fact is intentionally overlooked by the program's makers.

The program's commentary regarding the EU yard featured in Ghent, Belgium, is also particularly interesting. They claim that 98% of a ship in their care is recycled, with 2% of the vessel going to landfills.  This is similar to the recycling figures that have been applicable within Indian yards for many years.  EU yards should be applauded for their efforts to finally meet Indian standards on this particular issue. 

While the EU yards are making efforts to become more competitive with Indian facilities, the videos portraying some of these EU yards in this documentary alone, depict a level of unorganized operation that likely contributes to these yards' inability to compete internationally on a cost basis.  The reality is that it is well known that EU yards pay very little for the ships that they recycle and are not price competitive in the global markets. Government subsidies that could allow these European yards to be less cost conscious, coupled with low local steel prices, are just some of the true untold economic factors contributing to the significant disparity in pricing between the EU and Indian recycling facilities.  

The documentary also attempts to negatively portray these Indian recycling yards by featuring a lone disgruntled Indian yard employee. However, the journalists intentionally fail to highlight or depict the many other thousands of workers who are happy to be employed at these facilities.  Another fact that journalists conveniently omit in the program, is that workers travel from across India to attain these coveted jobs, which pay above-average local compensation. 

Unsurprisingly, the program makers also chose to omit the commendable and noteworthy humanitarian efforts and actions made by most Indian recycling yard facility owners during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns in India.  Most yards continued to pay salaries to their existing employees throughout the shutdown period, and in order to help ease the severe financial and social discomfort experienced by these workers, food distribution centers were also set up by many of the local recycling yards to ensure these workers were appropriately supported during these challenging times.   

FALSE INFORMATION - GMS was also incorrectly referred to and mentioned throughout this program.  One such reference was made to a company called "GMS Liberia" that was supposedly used in the transactions in question.  However, a company by this name does not exist, and if it does, it has nothing to do with GMS or its principals.  GMS is an agent, acting on behalf of its principals, which are ship owning companies based around the world.  These principals have diverse interests in maritime assets, ranging from very modern and newly built ships, down to end of life vessels that are often operated, chartered, and traded until being sold for further trading or recycling. 

The fact remains that GMS, as an agent, negotiates the acquisition of more ships and maritime assets on behalf of its principals than any other company in the world.   

WATCHING THE "WATCHDOGS" - GMS remains committed to maintaining a high level of ethics in its operations and commercial transactions and will continue to serve as a guardian and leader of the ship recycling industry.  From the NGO Shipbreaking Platform to the television stations that broadcast misinformation and sensationalized stories about ship recycling in India, to further their own political narratives and agendas and to increase their viewership, we recognize the ever-growing importance of confronting and speaking out against falsehoods and voicing the truth for those who are involved in the ship recycling industry.  By allowing such misinformation and factual inaccuracies to go unchecked, it is not just ship owners and large companies who depend on ship recycling in India that are adversely affected, but also the thousands of people who are employed by and derive their livelihoods from these yards, and who work every day to earn an honest living to support their families.  

For personal and political reasons, these highly aggressive NGOs have chosen to push a misguided political agenda and narrative within the EU from a policy and media perspective.  This attack on Indian ship recycling threatens the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people who are dependent on this industry and who do not have a collective voice loud enough to be heard over the well funded NGOs and media outlets that have focused on exploiting the hard-working people of the recycling industry in order to benefit themselves.

GMS is in the process of seeking advice on its legal options against the organizations that have relied on and published false and defamatory information, with a clear intention to slander GMS's reputable and well-known name in the market with this documentary.  As these misguided media assaults are becoming more frequent, maintaining an objective perspective and focusing on unbiased facts is vital. We ask that readers take the time to properly understand and appreciate the tremendous progress that has been made in the recycling industry in South East Asia, and contact us with any questions about the constant efforts being made to improve.

Finally, it's regrettable that GMS remains the only institution in the ship recycling industry that rises up to confront and challenge these false narratives with truth and facts. As a result, we end up being a favourite target on the "hit list" of those determined to derail the progress of the HKC, and who are ultimately intent on stopping ship recycling in the Indian subcontinent. We invite shipowners and their associations, capital providers, underwriters, shipbrokers, class societies, auditors, and all those who work in this industry and have studied this industry up close, to rise up and speak up!


For further inquiries, please contact us at bd@gmsinc.net



Founded in USA, GMS is the world’s largest Buyer of ships and offshore units for recycling. GMS has successfully negotiated several thousand assets since its inception—more than any other company in the world! For more than a decade GMS has led the industry by sheer volume of transactions and innovative products. The firm's mission is to simplify the disposal and recycling processes in the maritime world by providing end-to-end solutions, sustaining an asset’s residual value while simultaneously improving international health, safety and environmental standards. With nine international offices, an award-winning Responsible Ship Recycling Program, and a team of specialized experts, GMS continues to influence positive change in the global maritime and offshore industry.

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Unsaid truth by BBC: GMS unfolding the facts!


As a subset of media ethics, 'journalistic ethics' is comprised of principals of ethics and good practice that apply to journalists across various types of news mediums.  Codes may vary from one organization to another, however, most share common themes of adherence to accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, and fairness in their efforts to maintain unbiased views and provide newsworthy information to the public. For many, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is looked to in order to provide its readers with unbiased, accurate, and truthful reporting in accordance with these principals.

It would appear as though the journalistic code of ethics was not closely practiced during the BBC's recent 'report' titled, "Breaking Bad: Uncovering the Oil Industry's Dirty Secret." Throughout the coverage, the BBC feeds readers inaccuracies and negatively spun out-of-context views on ship recycling yards in Alang, India.

Following the onslaught of misinformation and incorrect views of the ship recycling industry portrayed by the BBC, our principals have found it necessary to address some falsified items and misleading perspectives depicted in the report.



The article bears several intentionally misleading sub-headlines such as "Constant Danger" & "Toxic Hotspot" when referring to Alang as "a graveyard of ships."

This glaringly intentional misdirection by the article betrays the reality on the ground in Alang, India, where nearly 80 ship recycling yards (out of 120) have achieved over 105 Hong Kong Convention SoC (Statement of Compliance) certifications, including multiple certifications by single yards from various IACS class societies – including ClassNK, IR Class, Lloyd's Register, and RINA.

The reporters have chosen to place at center stage, the opinions of NGOs and other biased stakeholders that have vested interests in bolstering negative agendas against the ship recycling industry in Alang.  Yet the article fails to include a single interview from any individual or organization who would present a counterpoint to dispute the negative claims made in the report. GMS had chosen to provide formal written responses to questions raised by the BBC, most of which do not seem to have been taken into account.  

Perhaps most concerning is the journalist's failure to acknowledge the findings of reputable classification societies that have independently visited, vetted, and verified the operations, codes of conduct, and worker & environmental safety standards and procedures that are currently in place at most yards in Alang.  These class societies have placed their reputations on the line by issuing SoC certificates to recycling yards in Alang.  It is these SoC certificates that have become one of the fundamental building blocks in the decision-making process of blue-chip ship owners to responsibly select which yards will become the final resting place for their assets.



It is important to understand that over 1,000 foreign nationals have visited Alang over the last five years alone.  The vast majority of these visitors have been "auditors" (e.g., class auditors, ship owners, owner's reps, brokers, capital providers, diplomats, bureaucrats, policymakers, NGOs, underwriters, marine surveyors, scientists, naval architects, engineers, students, etc.).  The focus of these auditors is generally to: (1) determine if the negative stories they have seen about Alang are real, and (2) to decide if they believe that Alang can recycle ships in a safe and environmentally sound manner per international guidelines.

After reading the report, it is obvious how many of these 1,000+ visitors and auditors were interviewed in order to voice their opinions.  It would appear that these people were left out of the report intentionally.  Out of the people interviewed, the report fails to convey how many have ever been to Alang themselves, and if they have ever visited, how recently they have been there in order to give their statements and views legitimacy. 

In addition, out of over 100,000+ industry workers, only two obviously disgruntled and biased brothers who are yard laborers were interviewed and referenced in the report.  It is impossible to obtain a fair and balanced view of the yard worker's perspective from only two employees. 

In an attempt to validate what would appear to be preconceived biases against the industry, the BBC chose to interview Ms. Ingvild Jenssen (founder and director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform) who has unrelentingly targeted the ship recycling sector.  Throughout the years, Ms. Jenssen has used the platform's position to spread inaccuracies and misrepresentation of facts in an effort to invalidate the hard work and improvements made by an industry that has earned a reputation as a reliable source for safe and environmentally conscious ship recycling.

Adding to the list of suspects or potentially biased sources, the BBC also chose to rely on the opinions of an attorney from a law firm that specialises in human rights cases when it came to seeking information about Ship Recycling.  The attorney seemed to give his opinion about the business of Cash Buying and the Ship Recycling industry at large, offering his views on some practices without appearing to adequately understand or articulat the correct inner workings and structures of the industry.  In general, people who lack the basic understanding of the reasons for why the shipping industry employs flags of convenience (FoCs) or specific corporate structures should not be relied on for their professional opinions about the space.    

The BBC seems determined to link the ownership of the rigs in Scotland to GMS via the following statements: "Throughout its dealings with Sepa and the BBC, GMS denied it was the owner of any of the vessels it bought from Diamond Offshore - insisting it was only acting as an agent for other, unnamed companies."

What the BBC or its interviewees failed to highlight is that Cash Buyers generally act as "agents" on behalf of principals and have no legal relationship to the ownership of assets. 



The article goes on to quote Ms. Jenssen, claiming that over 137 lives have been lost between 2009 and 2019.

While any death is tragic, we are pleased to advise that in the history of the GMS Responsible Ship Recycling Program (RSRP), not a single vessel negotiated by GMS under this program has suffered a fatality.

Data collected from official sources would indicate that, sadly, 63 deaths were reported in Alang between 2014 – 2019.  This would mean roughly 10.5 deaths per annum.  It is estimated that 100,000+ total people work in the ship recycling industry in Alang (including those who work in the actual yards and downstream ship recycling-related jobs in Alang).  According to the Gujarat Maritime Board, with all direct and indirect related jobs, this figure could be as high as 500,000 ancillary jobs being related to the industry.    

While the goal is to bring this fatality number down to ZERO, last month (Feb 2020), Business Insider published an article using info from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018 data), that looks at the number of deaths per 100,000 people in an industry.

According to this data, in the United States, logging is the most dangerous job with 97.6 deaths per 100,000 workers, followed closely by fishing (and fishing-related workers) at 77.4 deaths per 100,000, and coming in third are aircraft pilots and flight engineers who had 58.9 deaths per 100,000 workers.  The list of deadly jobs in the USA is extensive, and as you go down the line, refuse and recyclable material collectors (i.e., garbage men) have 44.3 deaths per 100,000. In comparison, truck drivers and sales workers are 26 deaths per 100,000, farmers and ranchers are 24.7 per 100,000, and structural iron and steel workers are 23.6 deaths per 100,000.  Regular construction laborers in the USA have a fatality rate of 13 per 100,000 (this is only # 17 most dangerous on the list), and operating engineers and other construction equipment operators (#20 on the USA most dangerous jobs list) have a fatality rate of 10.6 per 100,000 workers. Professional athletes come in at #24 on the list with 7.6 per 100,000 while taxi cab drivers and chauffeurs are #26 with 6.7 per 100,000 – the list goes on.

These statistics are not being mentioned to minimalize the danger of any jobs or to downplay the tragedy of even one death or injury, but rather to put into perspective the risks and hazards that are felt across all industries throughout the world. 

Finally, perhaps the most egregious misrepresentation in the article states that there "is only one small clinic in Alang and more seriously injured workers have to travel to the city hospital in Bhavnagar – a 30-mile journey on unpaved roads which takes more than an hour."

A simple search on Google will list three hospitals in Alang that are currently operational 24 hours a day. Those facilities include:

  1. Alang Hospital, located at South Side Road, Alang, Gujarat 364150, India.
  2. GMB Multispeciality Hospital Alang, located at South Side Road-Alang, Alang, Gujarat 364150, India.
  3. Redcross Hospital of Alang, located: Near Mahadev Temple, South Side Road-Alang, Alang, Gujarat, 364150, India.



The editors of the article use hyperbole to over-inflate claims such as "Documents filed by GMS show significant amounts of waste aboard all three vessels, including the poisonous heavy metals cadmium and mercury," Other examples include "The Ocean Princess alone contains an estimated 428 tonnes of waste, including about a tonne of asbestos" and "An inventory for the Ocean Vanguard lists PCB, a highly toxic chemical which was used as an electrical coolant and insulator until its production was banned worldwide".

In reality, mercury was only found in thermometers and lighting fixtures, while cadmium and lead were found in batteries on-board. These are materials that can be routinely found in everyday household items (albeit in smaller quantities), let alone ocean-going vessels or a 15,000-ton rig.

Moreover, the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHMs) prepared by Lloyd's approved specialists confirm that only 6.3 tons of waste were on board the Ocean Princess, including the aforementioned thermometers and lighting fixtures.

The IHM of the Ocean Vanguard (in fact, on all three rigs) confirms that none of the three rigs have any PCBs on board and samples tested from various areas of the rigs for the presence of PCBs, all tested negative.



To encourage the positive growth of India's vital ship recycling sector, the Government of India acceded to the Hong Kong Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, and became the only South Asian country and major ship recycling destination to take such a positive step.

Moreover, major blue-chip and stock listed ship owners of the world including but not limited to American, European, and Asian based ship owners have spent significant amounts of time and money in an effort to conduct proper due diligence in the yards and have subsequently decided to recycle their end-of-life tonnage at recycling facilities in Alang.

Twenty ship recycling yards have filed applications with the European Commission for the audit of their recycling facilities for inclusion in the EU's list of approved ship recycling yards, and several of these yards are currently undergoing full EU-audits.  These efforts demonstrate the amount of work that has gone into improving the yards and shows that they pass at least the preliminary measures to be considered for possible inclusion under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR) – a fact conveniently omitted by the BBC.

Ship recycling yard owners have made massive investments into upgrading their recycling facilities and safety infrastructure, starting with small yet essential items such as routine use of safety gear, masks, gloves, hard hats, and boots, to significant improvements including 100% impervious floors with drainage systems, heavy lift cranes, yard and vessel-specific training for workers and Ship Recycling Facility Plan(s) as per MEPC 210 (63) and Ship-Specific Recycling Plans as per MEPC 196 (62).

Over the years, the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), in association with Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA), has implemented many developmental programmes at Alang, such as:

  1. The GMB developed a Safety Training and Labour Welfare Institute at Alang in 2003. This is a 12-day mandatory training programme for fresh workers joining the industry, followed by an oral/written examination conducted by IR Class (an IACS member). Only successful candidates are eligible for employment in the yards. Over 140,000 workers have been trained to date in the Safety Training and Labour Welfare Institute at Alang. Several refresher trainings are conducted on an ongoing basis, for previously trained and certified workers.  
  2. As stated above, three hospitals are currently in operation at Alang, including one that is operated by the Indian Red Cross Society and financially supported by the GMB. There are two full-time ambulances in service and an additional 10 ambulances that are privately owned by yards in an effort to comply with EUSRR requirements.  A multi-specialty hospital and a mobile hospital with a certified doctor is also in operation by the Ship Recycling Association. In addition, a full-fledged hospital with 30 beds was constructed by the GMB and will be operational shortly by ESIC. About 15,000 labourers are currently registered with ESIC and have been provided with a smart card.
  3. In association with the SRIA, the GMB developed a Labour colony in order to provide residences for local labourers. Phase-I of this colony has been constructed for 1008 labours working at local yards. Along with addressing basic requirements, such as water supply, sanitation, electrification, etc., supplemental facilities such as canteens, offices, and local shops are also provided. Finally, as per ILO standards at Alang, several recycling yard owners have themselves constructed labour colonies for their own workers, which also accommodate nearly 800 yard employees.
  4. Firefighting arrangements for local yards are under the supervision of the GMB. The fire fighting force is headed by a fire officer and operational staff, which includes one Station Officer, two Pump Operators / Drivers, two Junior Officers, and thirteen supporting firemen.
  5. To support local yards, an HGL Sump of 2.5 million litres has been constructed at Trapaj Head-works, to draw water from the Mahi-Pariej line and directed to Alang & Sosiya yards. In addition, separate storage and internal distribution systems have been developed for a water supply network for ship breaking plots in both areas:  

In Alang: an overhead tank with 1.2 Million litres and underground sump with over 1 Million litres.

In Sosiya: an overhead tank with 700K litres and an underground sump with 600K litres.

The ship recycling yards in Alang serve the nation by producing about 4.5 million tons of re-rollable steel per year, without exploiting any natural resources. The labour wages are as per standards set by the Government, and several yards have invested in jetties and heavy cranes in order to directly lift steel and other heavy items from vessels, without touching the inter-tidal zone and subsequently placing them on the impervious cutting floor of the recycling yard.

In the near future, the world's largest stretch of ship-breaking beaches at Alang-Sosiya, in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district, will be upgraded through a $76 million loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The loan will be used to further upgrade 70 recycling yards over the next few years.

Many yards are already upgraded, and these improvements will introduce increased environmentally sound and safer ship recycling practices to even more yards and will help enable additional ship recyclers to adopt processes in accordance with international practices. The project will conduct additional capacity development training courses for stakeholders at various levels. The training courses will continue to cover key aspects of recycling, including safety and environmental protection. 



LANCE (Ex-OCEAN ALLIANCE) was recycled at Hariyana Ship Demolition Pvt. Ltd., (Plot # V4) in Alang.  With over three decades of experience, the Hariyana Group is known for its legacy of high standards in the Ship Recycling industry throughout Asia. Hariyana Ship Breakers Ltd is a close client of GMS and is listed on India's leading financial exchange, i.e., the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), as the only listed and dividend-paying company in the industry for over eight years.

Throughout their years of working together, GMS and the Hariyana Group have demonstrated their commitment towards worker safety and to the environment as dominant players through maintaining excellent track records for worker safety and environmental protection, while abiding by the most stringent national and international protocols.

Hariyana Ship Demolition Pvt. Ltd., is a member of the Treatment Storage Disposal Facility (TSDF) site at Alang and has a HKC statement of compliance from RINA Class and is currently working for a HKC SOC from ClassNK.

Please see below a few photos that were captured in the yard during the roughly the same time that the BBC was visiting Alang. Regrettably, selective and out of context pictures were used by the BBC in their report. 

Here are some FACTS to help foster an understanding of the real situation surrounding the recycling of "LANCE" (EX OCEAN ALLIANCE). 

The vessel received beaching permission on December 8, 2018, and cutting permission was granted by the authorized regulatory body on February 19, 2019. The vessel was recycled entirely on January 3, 2020, i.e. 22,263 tons were recycled over a period of about 13 months in a safe and environmentally friendly manner with "zero accidents."

The total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all activities involved in recycling LANCE was estimated through various calculations and compared to the GHG emissions that would have come from the production of an equivalent amount of iron ore, should it have been mined.  For example, LANCE (Ex-OCEAN ALLIANCE) had a LDT of 22,263 MT.

For clarity, a total of 10,436.76 MT of steel bars and 7,260.35 MT of steel ingots were produced from recycling LANCE (Ex-OCEAN ALLIANCE) using re-rolling and electric arc furnace processes respectively. The total GHG emission from complete recycling of the rig (beaching to the production of steel bars and steel ingots) was estimated to be about 7,360.53 MT CO2-e. The same amount of steel bars and steel ingots, if produced using conventional mining processes, would result in an estimated total GHG emission of about 30,251.47 MT CO2- e.

As such, by recycling LANCE (Ex-OCEAN ALLIANCE), a grand total of about 22,890.94 MT CO2-e GHG emissions was saved, protecting the ozone layer from further depletion.

It should be noted that under GMS's Responsible Recycling Program (RSRP), work-at-height trainings were conducted for the workers at Hariyana yard on November 17, 2018, before the work on LANCE had commenced. As a result of GMS training, a total of about 16 tons of potentially hazardous / non-hazardous wastes generated during the recycling process of LANCE were saved from landing in the intertidal zone and were subsequently submitted to the dedicated authorized disposal facility at Alang.

For transparency, the actual details of waste streams from LANCE (in chronological order) are given below. 



We hope that this release has helped to foster a better understanding of the current status of ship recycling in Alang and that readers recognize the importance of taking the time to understand recycling industry facts vs. biased opinions.  While it would be impossible for everyone reading this commentary to visit Alang, we have made a sincere effort to invite and host as many auditors and sceptics as possible to strap on work boots and tour the yards themselves.  Nearly all critics who have spent time in Alang and taken the opportunity to properly understand the industry and massive efforts that have been made towards improving it, have come back converts who support the hard work and efforts that GMS has been cultivating in India and other countries for many years.  It is difficult as the better the industry develops, the louder many naysayers become in an effort to try to outshine the achievements that have been made and to protect their own advocacy positions. 

At GMS, we pride ourselves as being responsible leaders in an industry that is vital to the shipping supply chain.  Over the years, we have made it our mission to improve the safety and quality of working and living standards across the industry.  The advancements that have been made in the environmental standards and long term sustainability throughout the ship recycling industry and in the geographic areas that house it have been immense, and GMS considers it an honour to be at the forefront of these developments.    

Please fee free to contact GMS at info@gmsinc.net with any comments or questions that you might have.


LANCE waste stream details:   


Sr. No.


Designated Facility

Waste Description

Total Quantity
(in MT)




Bilge Water










Oily Rags





Contaminated Sand






































































































TOTAL= 16.63 MT


Pictures from within Hariyana Ship Recycling during December 2019 – February 2020: 







  1. Conducted more than 90 safety training programmes at Alang and Bangladesh together over the last three years
  2. Conducted 20 train-the-trainer programmes in association with IRClass in Alang
  3. Recycled more than 65 ships under GMS RSRP and developed more than 40 IHM reports.




For further enquiries, contact us at: bd@gmsinc.net


Founded in USA, GMS is the world’s largest Buyer of ships and offshore units for recycling. GMS has successfully negotiated several thousand assets since its inception—more than any other company in the world! For more than a decade GMS has led the industry by sheer volume of transactions and innovative products. The firm's mission is to simplify the disposal and recycling processes in the maritime world by providing end-to-end solutions, sustaining an asset’s residual value while simultaneously improving international health, safety and environmental standards. With nine international offices, an award-winning Responsible Ship Recycling Program, and a team of specialized experts, GMS continues to influence positive change in the global maritime and offshore industry.

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March 17, 2020
5 things to know about Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009
The International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) developed the Convention with the participation of the Secretariats of the Basel Convention and the International Labour Organization from 2006 to 2009. The diplomatic conference that adopted the Convention took place in Hong Kong, and thus, it's commonly known as the "Hong Kong Convention" (HKC). In this article, I am answering the top 5 frequently asked questions on the Hong Kong Convention. 
1) Why was the Hong Kong International Convention required for end-of-life ships?
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal,1989 considers end-of-life ships as Wastes. The Basel Convention was successful in controlling illegal transport of hazardous wastes from many industrial sectors to countries with minimum or no capacity for waste disposal in an environmentally sound manner. However, when it comes to the ship recycling sector, it was not suitable for end-of-life ships. It does not define a minimum standard for ship recycling other than prior-informed consent to export and import, nor does it make any provisions for workers' safety issues. Basel Convention is not cognizant of the concept of flag State for ship recycling sector, and the State from which the ship departs for its last voyage is regarded as exporting State, both of which create a problem of enforcement.  Therefore, a standalone international regulation on ship recycling was required, which can address ship recycling issues in a safe and environmentally sound manner. 
2) To whom does HKC will apply? 
The Convention, after its entry into force, will apply to all ships, except ships below 500 GT, government-owned non-commercial service ships, and ships operated throughout their life exclusively in waters of the State whose flag the ship is flying.
3) What HKC include?
1. the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships;
2. the operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner; and
3. the establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling (certification/reporting requirements).
The central part of the Convention contains 21 Articles and 25 regulations. The Convention has
seven appendices, with lists of hazardous materials, standard formats for certificates, etc. It has six guidelines that were developed by IMO's MEPC, namely:
• Resolution MEPC.196(62) - 2011 Guidelines for the Development of the Ship Recycling Plan
• Resolution MEPC.210(63) - 2012 Guidelines for Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling
• Resolution MEPC.211(63) - 2012 Guidelines for the Authorization of Ship Recycling Facilities
• Resolution MEPC.222(64) - 2012 Guidelines for the survey and certification of ships under the Hong Kong Convention
• Resolution MEPC.223(64) - 2012 Guidelines for the inspection of ships under the Hong Kong Convention
• Resolution MEPC.269(68) - 2015 Guidelines for the development of the Inventory of the Hazardous Materials
4)  When will HKC come into force?
HKC will come into force 24 months after the date on which it meets the following three conditions: 
1. not less than 15 States have either acceded to it or have ratified it;
2. the combined merchant fleets of the States that have acceded to it or have ratified it represent not less than 40 percent of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage;
3. the combined maximum annual ship recycling volume of the States that have acceded to it or have ratified it must constitute not less than three percent (3%) of their combined merchant shipping tonnage.
5) Which all conditions of HKC are fulfilled to date? And how many ship recycling yards in South Asia voluntarily complied with the same?  
1. As of 20 January 2020, 15 countries have acceded/ratified the HKC. Namely, Norway, Congo, France, Belgium, Panama, Denmark, Turkey, Netherland, Serbia, Japan, Estonia, Malta, Germany, Ghana, and India;
2. 30.1% is the combined merchant fleets of the above 15 States that have acceded/ratified to HKC. 9.9% less than the mandatory 40 percent of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage to meet the second condition (estimation is as per 2018 fleet data which is subjected to change once 2019 fleet data is available);
3. 2.6% is the combined maximum annual ship recycling volume of the States that have acceded which is still 0.4% less than the required three percent (3%) of their combined merchant shipping tonnage to mee the third condition (estimation is as per 2018 recycling data which is subjected to change once 2019 recycling data is available);
This means, though the first condition is met, we still need to fulfill the second and third conditions for HKC to enter into force. 
To fully satisfy the 2nd condition is quite straightforward, as ratification by either Liberia or Marshall Islands is enough to meet the 40 percent requirement. Whereas both these open registers appear keen to see the Convention enter into force, they, as well as other registers, have been reluctant to ratify, in case too much tonnage is accumulated, making it difficult, or even impossible, for the third condition to be met. This is because the third condition on recycling capacity is expressed in terms of a percentage of the second condition on the tonnage in operation.
An additional recycling capacity of 2.1 million GT is presently needed to satisfy the third condition. This can only be provided by Bangladesh (present capacity 9.9 million GT), or Pakistan (5.7 million GT), or by China (8.2 million GT). The rest of the world (excepting Turkey and India who have already ratified) can only contribute 0.6 million GT altogether.  
For a few more years, China will be able to contribute significant "notional" ship recycling capacity arising from the tonnages it recycled before banning the import of end-of-life ships. This legacy capacity will stand at 8.2 million GT until May 2023 (which was the volume recycled in 2012) and will then progressively decline until a decade has passed from the time China banned the import of ships for recycling. Therefore, noting that the fleets of China and Hong Kong together currently represent 13.4% of the world's fleet, it follows that if China with Hong Kong were to ratify the Convention today, then the three conditions will have been met today and the Convention would enter into force in just 24 months. 
However, considering above all conditions into consideration, we can expect HKC to come into force before 2025.
Seventy-seven ship recycling yards received over 105 Statement of Compliance (SOC) from IACS, mainly ClassNK, RINA, IRClass, and Lloyd's Register in India.  Whereas, In Bangladesh, one recycling yard (PHP) achieved SOC with HKC from ClassNK. 
About the Author
Dr. Anand Hiremath is the Head of Research and Development Division of GMS. A Civil Engineer and a Master's degree holder in Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G). He has been awarded Doctorate Degree for his research work on Ship Recycling by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B). Also, he is a qualified OHSAS 18001:2007 Lead Auditor from Bureau Veritas and an "Approved HazMat Expert" from DNV GL.
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March 5, 2020


Introduction of IHM Gap Analysis Service by GMS RSRP

GMS’s Responsible Ship Recycling Program (GMS RSRP) has introduced a new service of fulfilling gaps in the Inventory of Hazardous Material (IHM) reports submitted by Ship Owners for their end-of-life vessels at the time of recycling.


Why IHM Gap Analysis?

An IHM is the soul of safe and environmentally friendly ship recycling. Unfortunately, a majority of IHM reports being prepared are done when a vessel is in operation and hazardous materials experts are not always permitted access to samples of insulation on running machinery, control panels, and equipment, as well as in many operational / occupied / confined spaces on-board. Therefore, inaccessible locations get reported as the location with “Potentially Containing Hazardous Materials (PCHM)” in the IHM. PCHM locations do not confirm the existence or even the type(s) and quantity of wastes on-board, which eventually creates a gap in the IHM report.

Under GMS RSRP, we have recycled over 100 ships so far and have seen this potentially hazardous gap in various IHM reports generated by third parties. More dangerously, we have noticed that a few IHM reports do not even cover sampling of areas that were accessible to the hazmat experts. An argument on the number of samples for generating the IHM report certainly exists and few experts claim that the volume of sampling does not define the accuracy of the IHM report, but the experience of hazmat expert that matters the most. However, we have realized that the end-users of the IHM report come to realize the gaps in the IHM only after the vessel is delivered to their yard.


What will GMS’s IHM Gap Analysis Cover?

The objective of GMS IHM gap analysis report is to analyze and address the gaps in an IHM Report submitted by ship owners when committing their ships for recycling. The IHM Gap Analysis includes

  1. - Visual/sampling checks of PCHM locations identified in the IHM report submitted by Shipowners.
  2. - Sampling of locations and components which were not covered in the IHM report
  3. - Re-sampling of locations which were already covered in the IHM report, in order to ensure correctness of results in the IHM.
  4. - Re-sampling of locations already covered in the IHM report in order to test for identification of hazardous wastes other than those already tested.

This four-prong approach will ensure all potential gaps are accurately addressed.


Advantages of GMS’s IHM Gap Analysis?

  • - Cost effective (fraction of cost)
  • - Comprehensive (see below)
  • - Simple and Seamless (no need to pay extra. Cost of IHM can be deducted from the purchase price)

IHM Gap Analysis will ensure that any IHM report provided by ship owners covers all types of wastes and its respective quantities, with no PCHM locations on-board as per MEPC 269 (68). Gap Analysis through our four-prong approach will strive to confirm that the results generated in the IHM submitted by ship owners are accurate - which further ensures that workers are not exposed to unidentified hazardous wastes during the recycling of end-of-life ships. GMS’s IHM Gap Analysis further endorses the effective management of hazardous wastes and tracking of wastes on-board.

GMS is proud to introduce this first-of-a-kind service to Ship Owners and Owners of Recycling Yards to ensure the effective implementation of Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.




For more details regarding IHM Gap Analysis, please contact: green@gmsinc.net




Founded in 1992 in the USA, GMS is the world’s largest Buyer of ships and offshore units for recycling. GMS has successfully negotiated several thousand assets since its inception—more than any other company in the world! For more than a decade GMS has led the industry by sheer volume of transactions and innovative products. The firm's mission is to simplify the disposal and recycling processes in the maritime world by providing end-to-end solutions, sustaining an asset’s residual value while simultaneously improving international health, safety and environmental standards. With nine international offices, an award-winning Responsible Ship Recycling Program, and a team of specialized experts, GMS continues to influence positive change in the global maritime and offshore industry.

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December 17, 2019


Dr. Anil Sharma is nominated among Lloyd’s List’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Shipping 2019

For the 10th consecutive year, Dr. Sharma’s contributions to the ship recycling industry have been recognized in this prestigious list of global leaders


We are very pleased to announce that for the 10th year in a row, Dr. Anil Sharma, Founder & CEO of GMS, has been featured in the annual Lloyd’s List Top 100 of the most influential people in shipping for 2019. He joins an extremely small and elite group of shipping professionals to be receive this accolade from the world’s most respected and prestigious maritime publication.

In this year’s ranking, Lloyd’s List described Dr. Sharma as a “pioneer in driving positive change in the (recycling) industry” and highlighted how his “vision to evolve ship recycling through sustainable practices has placed Global Marketing Systems at the forefront of the international, industry-wide changes”.

To date, GMS remains the first and only Cash Buyer to be nominated in the Top 100 and the only Cash Buyer in the world to develop an award winning Responsible Ship Recycling Program (RSRP). GMS continues to invest in both local and international programs, in order to provide a full scope of services to Ship Owners, Lenders and Recycling Yards. From preparing Inventory of Hazardous Material (IHM) reports and Ship Recycling Plans (SRPs) to auditing services by providing weekly progress updates and a comprehensive vessel recycling completion reports as per the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) guidelines, GMS offers one-stop, end-to-end solutions to the international maritime community.

As a testament to growing interest in GMS’s RSRP, the percentage of green vessels recycled has mushroomed from a modest 5% of GMS’s total sales into India (about 6 years ago) to nearly 71% this year. Moreover, during the last 5 years, GMS has generated more than 40 IHM reports for various Ship Owners and even helped 10 Recycling Yards in India to achieve their Statement of Compliance (SoC) in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention.

In 2019, GMS conducted about 50 training programs (a 75% increase over 2018) for yard workers and safety officers in India and Bangladesh. GMS is now working with yards in Bangladesh to develop “green” facilities in that country. In addition, GMS worked closely with the Indian government in their evaluation of and the final ratification of the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) for safe and responsible recycling.

As complimented by Lloyd’s List - “Dr. Sharma has been in this business for the past 27 years and has built it into a force to be reckoned with.”

In response, Dr. Sharma commented: “I would like to thank Lloyd’s List for this prestigious honor for the 10th straight year in a row and I am humbled that the efforts being made by GMS continue to make a difference in the industry. The indelible importance of Ship Recycling remains ever-so prevalent for the maritime and offshore industries and I am pleased to note the commendable improvements being made in the industry over the years. Not only more than 75% of ship recycling yards in India are HKC compliant today, Bangladeshi yards are also getting in on the action, which speaks volumes about the positive strides being taken by the industry at large. Moreover, truly noteworthy is the major step undertaken by the Indian government by ratifying the Hong Kong Convention and announcing the “Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019”. I can only hope that in the year(s) ahead, the EUSRR will finally recognize the positive & giant steps taken by subcontinent recycling yards and complement their efforts by ratifying non-EU yards in the short term and finally dissolving this impractical regulation once HKC comes in to force.”

Dr. Sharma’s review in the Lloyd’s List Top 100 can be found online at:


For a free copy of the publication, kindly contact: info@gmsinc.net



For further enquiries, contact us at: bd@gmsinc.net



Founded in USA, GMS is the world’s largest Buyer of ships and offshore units for recycling. GMS has successfully negotiated several thousand assets since its inception—more than any other company in the world! For more than a decade GMS has led the industry by sheer volume of transactions and innovative products. The firm's mission is to simplify the disposal and recycling processes in the maritime world by providing end-to-end solutions, sustaining an asset’s residual value while simultaneously improving international health, safety and environmental standards. With nine international offices, an award-winning Responsible Ship Recycling Program, and a team of specialized experts, GMS continues to influence positive change in the global maritime and offshore industry.

Read More