(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the Hong Kong Convention) is set to enter into force within 24 months, after Bangladesh and Liberia became Contracting States to the Convention.
The Hong Kong Convention is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and to the environment.
The Hong Kong Convention will enter into force 24 months after the following required criteria have been met:
- not less than 15 States;
- not less than 40% of the world's merchant shipping by gross tonnage; and
- ship recycling capacity of not less than 3% of the gross tonnage of the combined merchant shipping of those States mentioned above.
These conditions have now been met and the Convention will enter into force on 26 June 2025. Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest ship recycling countries by capacity. Liberia is one of the world’s largest flag States by tonnage.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim commended Bangladesh and Liberia for the accessions.“I congratulate Bangladesh and Liberia for depositing their instruments of accession, triggering within 24 months the entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, and the global regime for safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships. This is a momentous day for the IMO, for the international shipping industry, for the marine environment, and especially for workers and local communities in ship recycling countries globally.”
“Bangladesh has made huge strides in recent years in improving its ship recycling regulation and standards to meet the Hong Kong Convention requirements. I take this opportunity to also thank the Government of Norway for their continued support to the IMO-implemented project on Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh (SENSREC), which has helped make this accession possible. I would also like to express my deepest appreciation to Liberia. As a prominent flag state, their accession to the Hong Kong Convention will provide a major advancement to Liberia’s regulatory framework and would enable the tonnage criteria to be met,” Mr. Lim said.
“I invite other Member States, who have not yet become a party to the Hong Kong Convention, to do so as soon as possible, “ he added.
The Hong Kong Convention was adopted at a diplomatic conference held in Hong Kong, China, in 2009.
It embraces the “cradle to grave” concept, addressing all environmental and safety aspects relating to ship recycling, from the ship design stage through to the end of the ship’s life, including also the responsible management and disposal of associated waste streams in a safe and environmentally sound manner.
The Convention places responsibilities and obligations on all parties concerned – including shipowners, shipbuilding yards, ship recycling facilities, flag States, port States, and recycling States.
Upon entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, ships to be sent for recycling will be required to carry onboard an Inventory of Hazardous Materials. Ship recycling facilities authorized by Competent Authorities will be required to provide a Ship Recycling Plan, specific to each individual vessel to be recycled. Additionally, Governments will be required to ensure that recycling facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the Convention.