Ship recycling authorisation

How to apply to become an authorised ship recycling facility and operate legally under the approval.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

This guidance applies to England, Scotland and Wales.

Ships must be recycled in an environmentally sound manner and your waste operation must not endanger human health.

If your facility recycles ships you must have an environmental permit and may need an additional authorisation if the ship you’re recycling is covered by the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.

Ships in scope - covered by the regulation

Applies when the ship:

  • flies the flag of a member state
  • exceeds 500 gross tonnes

Ships out of scope

Excluded are:

  • warships
  • naval auxiliary ships
  • ships owned or operated by a state and used on government non-commercial service

Apply for ship recycling authorisation

If your facility already has an environmental permit you will need to apply to get your permit varied.

If your facility isn’t permitted you must apply for an environmental permit. When its granted it will include conditions relating to ship recycling.

You must submit a ship recycling facility plan. Part A relates to environment protection and Part B to health and safety.

See the guidance for what to include in your plan.

Use the template to fill in the required information.

You must apply to your competent authority and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). See their contact details:

Part A of your application will be assessed by your competent authority. Part B will be assessed by the HSE. The assessment will take at least 3 months but may take longer if the application is complicated. The assessment may include a site visit to check your procedures and techniques.

How much it costs

You must pay an application fee to the relevant environmental regulator and HSE. See the environmental regulators’ charging schemes to find out the cost of the application:

See the schedule of the UK Ship Recycling Facilities Regulations 2015 to find the HSE fee.

When you get approval

Once approved the authorisation is valid for 5 years. You will then have to renew your authorisation.

Your authorisation must be included in the European list of ship recycling facilities.

Enforcement and sanctions

If you don’t comply with your authorisation you may face enforcement action.

See the Environment Agency enforcement, sanctions and offences guidance

Published 12 February 2016
Last updated 25 February 2016 + show all updates
  1. Amended to clarify that facilities must apply to both the environmental regulator and the HSE and that both charge an application fee.

  2. First published.