Rachel Genovese

'A critical assessment of the regulation of the recycling of ships within the European Union and the commercial and environmental implications'


Rachel Genovese graduated from the University of Malta in 2016, and has for the previous four years worked with both the shipping and litigation teams at GANADO Advocates. She assisted clients on questions of environmental law, including matters relating to the recycling of vessels. In 2018, as part of her careers development, she proceeded to read for a degree in Corporate and Commercial Law at Queen Mary, University of London, particularly focusing on law maritime credits.

Introduction to research

With the recycling of ships becoming an ever-growing commercial activity, concerns within the shipping industry have been centred around the legal issues that arise when ship owners sell their vessels with the intention to recycle them. The objective of my research is to critically analyse the current international legal framework regulating ship recycling which then leads to a critical analysis of the current legal framework applicable within the EU and the legal concerns surrounding ship recycling in the EU. The study then proceeds to critically assess the impact of the recently introduced European Union Ship Recycling Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 with the aim of determining the manner in which it works in tandem with the Waste Shipment Regulation (EC (No) 1013/2006) and the international legal regime, that is, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal and the International Maritime Organisation’s Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The research also establishes the pitfalls of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation and how it could potentially negatively affect member states and industry stakeholders including ship recycling facilities and shipowners seeking to recycle their ships. 

Why did you choose maritime as your area of study and research?

Maritime law has always been a legal subject which interested me. Knowing that Malta is a maritime central hub I chose to study this area of law in further depth both during my undergraduate and in my postgraduate studies at Queen Mary University of London. I also had the opportunity of working with the Ship Registration and Ship Litigation teams within my firm back in Malta, which exposed me to the practical side of the industry. Whilst I was working in Malta, I also got the opportunity to work on a number of projects which involved the transhipment and recycling of a number of vessels within Turkey. With this practical background, it was only natural for me to focus my studies at Queen Mary on Maritime law and to particularly concentrate on ship recycling. In the future I hope to continue working alongside professionals in the maritime legal field with the hopes of expanding my legal knowledge and at the same time contributing towards the industry. 

What do you hope to get out of participating in the Maritime Masters programme?

The reason why I opted to join the Maritime Masters programme is because I am aware that it provides students with opportunities to meet and discuss topics of interest with industry key players. Naturally, joining the said programme will also expose my research allowing me the possibility to discuss and develop further my understanding of the legal topic which I chose to tackle. While I do aspire to win the Maritime Masters programme competition, I ultimately hope to get the opportunity to discuss my legal research with industry key players in the hopes of gaining further insight and ‘on the ground’ experience regarding ship recycling and the way forward following the introduction of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.