(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) The Hong Kong Convention was adopted in 2009 to effectively address, in a legally binding instrument, the environmental, occupational health and safety risks related to ship recycling, taking into account the particular characteristics of maritime transport and the need to secure the smooth withdrawal of ships that have reached the end of their operating lives.
Upon entry into force on 26 June 2025, the Hong Kong Convention will require new ships and existing ships of 500 GT and above no later than 5 years after the entry into force of the Convention, or before going for recycling, if this is earlier, to have onboard a valid International Certificate on IHM. The objective of the IHM under the Hong Kong Convention is to document ship-specific information on the actual hazardous materials present on board in order to protect the health and safety of the crew and to protect health and safety of workers at ship recycling facilities and avoid environmental pollution when the ship is going for recycling.
The European Parliament formally adopted the EU SRR on 22 October 2013. The EU SRR entered into force on 30 December 2013. The EU SRR requires all non-EU-flagged ships of 500 GT and above calling at EU ports; from 31 December 2020, to have onboard a valid IHM with a Statement of Compliance/International Certificate in the format specified in Appendix I of this Marine Operations Note. The Statement of Compliance/International Certificate shall be annotated with a note that the IHM has been developed to cover also the requirements of EU Regulation No. 1257/2013 to confirm that due diligence and consideration has been given to how the IHM is developed and controlled to cover both the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention and the EU SRR. Ships masters should be familiar with the requirements of this Note and should be able to present the same to Port State Control (PSC) officers when requested.
Considering the EU SRR is nearly aligned with the Hong Kong Convention and includes various references to the Hong Kong Convention and related Guidelines, it is determined that there are efficiencies to be gained through combining compliance inspections to avoid unnecessary duplication and administrative burdens of multiple ship visits for Owners and Operators vessels. Upon entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention or earlier if requested, the Flag Administration will also issue the International Ready for Recycling Certificate prior to recycling and upon completion of the final survey.
Shipowners with ships calling at ports in the EU are therefore required to develop the IHM for approval prior to arrival at any EU port and for ships calling ports around the world other than ports in the EU, shipowners are required to develop the IHM for approval prior to entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention on 26 June 2025; or before going for recycling, if this is earlier. To meet the requirements of the EU SRR there should be a reference in the International Certificate on IHM stating that the IHM has been developed to cover also the requirements of the EU SRR. This would entail that the IHM would include the classification of materials according to the IMO guidelines together with the addition of two hazardous materials (Perfluoro octane Sulfonic Acid -PFOS and Brominated Flame Retardant -HBCDD) required by the EU SRR.
Accredited laboratory is a laboratory accredited in accordance with ISO 17025 or an equivalent standard for the purpose of conducting specific tests for hazardous materials included in the Hong Kong Convention including additional materials required under the EU SRR and capable of providing a written report that can be relied upon by all parties.
Hazardous Material means any material or substance which is liable to create hazards to human health and/or the environment.
Hazardous Material survey is an investigation to trace and identify the presence or absence of Hazardous Materials contained in the equipment, systems, and/or areas on board a ship and may include a review of any relevant documents, visual inspections and sampling.
IHM process is the whole process of development and maintenance of an IHM throughout the operational life-cycle of the ship. It involves all the steps of developing an IHM including issuing/checking of any relevant documentation (e.g. Material Declarations), sampling and analysis, verification and life-cycle management.
Individual IHM Expert is a person who has the appropriate training, qualifications and knowledge to conduct hazardous material surveys for the development and maintenance of an IHM. He or she should have experience on ship structure and on handling of HM and sufficient knowledge of how to compile an IHM and of all the relevant international legislation.
IHM Expert Company is an entity employing or contracting individual IHM experts to conduct any relevant work or task in relation to the IHM process for the purpose of compiling or updating Inventories of Hazardous Materials. The IHM expert company should use a documented management system and should work on suitable standards, covering the relevant activities of the company.
Sampling check is the taking of samples to identify the presence or absence of HM contained in the equipment, systems, and/or areas on board a ship, by suitable and generally accepted methods such as laboratory analysis.
The IHM consists of:
- Part I: Hazardous materials contained in ship structure or equipment, their location and approximate quantities and referred to in Appendices 1 and 2 of the Hong Kong Convention and clarify that the ship complies with the controls of ships hazardous materials;
- Prior to recycling - Part II: Operationally generated wastes; and
- Part III: Stores.
In general, the guidelines in Resolution MEPC.269(68) provide sufficient information for the development of the IHM in relation to the hazardous material included in Appendices 1 and 2 of the Hong Kong Convention as well as an indicative list of these hazardous materials with CAS numbers and respective specific test methods. Therefore, for information on the hazardous materials included in appendices 1 and 2 of the Hong Kong Convention and in annexes 1 and 2 of the EU SRR, reference should be made to the IMO guidelines.
Part I of the IHM shall remain with a vessel throughout its operational life and be updated as all new installations enter the ship, as these may potentially contain hazards. The presence of the inventory will then ensure the safety of crewmembers during the vessel's operational life, and the safety of workers during the recycling process.
The shipowner is responsible for developing Part I of the IHM and should draw upon expert assistance. This is strongly recommended for safety and health protection reasons and in order to have a minimum assurance that the work is carried out by competent personnel, under a quality management system and in accordance with IMO guidelines in Resolution MEPC.269(68). However, such IHM Expert Company should not be the same as the Recognized Organization authorized by the Flag Administration to approve the IHM. The development and maintenance of the IHM should be subject to the principles of independence, quality and accountability.
The following procedure should be followed for the determination of Part I of the IHM:
- Collection of the necessary information
- Assessment of collected information
- Preparation of Visual/Sampling Check Plan (VSCP);
- Onboard Visual/Sampling Check; and
- Preparation of Part I of the IHM and related documentation
Maintaining and updating Part I of the IHM during operations
The Hong Kong Convention requires that the shipowner maintain the IHM, throughout the operational life of the ship.
If any machinery or equipment is added, removed or replaced or the hull coating is renewed, Part I of the IHM should be updated. Updating is not required if identical parts or coatings are installed or applied.
Part I of the IHM should belong to the ship and the continuity and conformity of the information should be confirmed, especially if the flag, owner or operator of the ship changes.
Requirements for ascertaining the conformity of Part I of the IHM
The conformity of the IHM for new ships (or new installations on existing ships) should be ascertained by reference to the Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity and the related Material Declarations collected from suppliers at the design and construction stage. To enforce the delivery of Material Declarations, builder’s and operator’s purchase departments are strongly advised to include related clauses in the contracts with suppliers of equipment, systems and installations.
Material Declaration (MD)
Suppliers to the shipbuilding industry should identify and declare whether or not the materials listed in Appendices 1 and 2 of the Hong Kong Convention. However, this provision does not apply to chemicals that do not constitute a part of the finished product.
Information required in the MD
At a minimum, the following information is required in the MD:
- date of declaration.
- MD identification number.
- supplier's name.
- product name (common product name or name used by manufacturer).
- product number (for identification by manufacturer).
- declaration of whether or not the materials listed in Appendices 1 and 2 of the Hong Kong Convention are present in the product above the threshold value stipulated in reference (b) and
- mass of each constituent material listed in 6. above
Suppliers' Declaration of Conformity (SDOC)
The purpose of the Supplier's Declaration of Conformity is to provide assurance that the related
Material Declaration conforms to the information above, and to identify the responsible entity. The SDOC should contain the following:
- unique identification number.
- name and contact address of the issuer.
- identification of the subject of the Declaration of Conformity (e.g. name, type, model number, and/or other relevant supplementary information).
- statement of conformity.
- date and place of issue and
- signature (or equivalent sign of validation), name and function of the authorized person(s) acting on behalf of the issuer.
For maintaining and updating Part I of the IHM throughout the operational life of the ship, reflecting new installations containing Hazardous Materials listed in Appendix 2 of the Hong Kong Convention including the additional materials in the EU SRR and relevant changes in ship structure and equipment, shipowners should implement the following measures in order to ensure the conformity of Part I of the IHM:
- Management policy to maintain the IHM: Designate a responsible person (ashore or on board);
- Management System to maintain the IHM:
- Request of Hazardous Material Information.
- Review of Collected Information of Hazardous Materials.
- Development of Revision of the Inventory.
- Review of Revision and Instruction of Updating Inventory.
- Update of the Inventory on Board.
- Ascertaining the Conformity of the Inventory.
- Continuity of Conformity of the inventory.
- Provide related documents as required for the survey or sale of the ship.
Shipowners may use an IHM Expert Company accepted by the Administration for maintaining and updating the IHM Part I.
Hazardous Materials Survey and Certification
The Hong Kong Convention identifies the following surveys to be performed by the Flag Administration or organizations recognized by the Flag Administration:
Initial survey: to verify whether Part I of the IHM has been prepared in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention. Note that there are different requirements for the initial surveys of new ships and those for existing ships.
Initial survey for new ships:
- Prior to the initial survey for a new ship, a request for the initial survey should be submitted by the shipowner or the shipyard to an authorized Recognized Organization along with the ship data required for the International Certificate on IHM;
- The request for an initial survey should be supplemented by Part I of the IHM along with the MD and SDOC and all other documents used to develop the IHM;
- The survey should verify that Part I of the IHM identifies the Hazardous Materials, their location and approximate quantities, by checking the MD and SDOC and especially the location of Hazardous Materials, is consistent with the arrangements, structure and equipment of the ship, through onboard visual inspection.
Initial survey for existing ships
- In the case of an existing ship, an initial survey shall be conducted before the International Certificate on IHM is issued.
- Prior to the initial survey, a request for the initial survey shall be submitted by the shipowner to an authorized Recognized Organization along with the ship data for the International Certificate on IHM.
- The request for an initial survey shall be supplemented by Part I of the IHM.
- Part I of the IHM shall be developed through a visual check and/or sampling check on board the ship, based on the visual/sampling check plan in accordance with Resolution MEPC.269(68) and be submitted by the shipowner to an authorized Recognized Organization along with supporting information such as the report of the visual/sampling check and/or MD and SDOC.
- The visual/sampling check plan and Part I of the IHM shall be prepared by an IHM Expert Company in accordance with Resolution MEPC.269(68).
- The survey shall verify that Part I of the IHM identifies the Hazardous Materials, their location and approximate quantities, by checking supporting information such as the report of the visual check and/or sampling check and/or MD and SDOC. the MD and SDOC and especially the location of Hazardous Materials, is consistent with the arrangements, structure and equipment of the ship, through onboard visual inspection.
- The survey shall further verify that the IHM, especially the location of Hazardous Materials, is consistent with the arrangements, structure and equipment of the ship, through onboard visual inspection.
Renewal survey: is to be carried out at intervals not exceeding five years. This survey shall verify that Part I of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials complies with the requirements of this Convention.
Additional survey: at the request of the shipowner after change, replacement or significant repair of the structure, equipment, systems, fittings, arrangements and material, which have an impact on the IHM.
Final survey: conducted before a ship is taken out of service and before the recycling of the ship has started. This survey shall verify that:
- the Inventory, in addition to the properly maintained and updated Part I, incorporates Part II for operationally generated wastes and Part III for stores, taking into account the guidelines in Resolution269(68).
- the Ship Recycling Plan, as required by regulation 9, properly reflects the information contained in the Inventory of Hazardous Materials and contains information concerning the establishment, maintenance and monitoring of Safe-for-entry and Safe-for-hot work conditions, and
- the Ship Recycling Facility(ies) where the ship is to be recycled holds a valid authorization in accordance with this Convention.
Issuance and endorsement of certificates
Authorized Recognized Organizations shall issue an interim International Certificate on IHM for a period of five (5) months in the format specified in Appendix 1 of this Note after the successful completion of an initial, additional or renewal survey conducted in accordance with the paragraph above; upon transfer of flag, and upon any amendments to the previously issued Statement of Compliance. The Interim International Certificate on IHM along with the survey report and IHM Part I shall be submitted to the Flag Administration, for issuance of the full-term International Certificate on IHM.
Statements of Compliance on IHM already issued by authorized Recognized Organizations will continue to remain valid until they expire; or until 26 June 2025, whichever is earlier, after which the Flag Administration will issue the International Certificate on IHM, which may not require an additional shipboard inspection/survey, provided the IHM has been maintained and updated as required.
For the issuance of the full-term certificate, the following documentation must be submitted by the Recognized Organization to the Administration prior to 26 June 2025:
- the relevant survey report and IHM Part I and,
- If SOCs expiring prior to 26 June 2025: an Interim Certificate on IHM upon completion of the renewal survey or,
- If SOCs expire on or after 26 June 2025: the existing valid Statement of Compliance on IHM.
Upon entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, authorized Recognized Organizations shall issue an Interim International Ready for Recycling Certificate for a period of fifteen (15) days in the format specified, after the successful completion of the final survey described above, taking into account the authorization of the Ship Recycling Facility in accordance with MEPC Resolution 211(63). The Interim International Ready for Recycling Certificate, Recycling Plan and Authorization of Ship Recycling Facility shall be submitted to the Flag Administration, for issuance of the full-term Certificate.
Requirements for IHM Expert Companies and Shipowners
IHM Expert Companies
The IHM should be developed by IHM Expert Companies accepted by the Administration as meeting the criteria listed below.
IHM Expert Companies desiring to be accepted by the Flag Administration for conducting IHM-related work described above, including maintaining and updating the IHM Part I should make an application to the Flag Administration and be able to demonstrate:
- Independence - Include Organization structure and a list of all Individual IHM Experts engaged with a copy of each person’s training certification.
- Quality - Include a certificate or report verifying that the IHM Expert Company has a documented quality system.
- Accreditation and Certification – Include the following:
- ISO 17020 certification or equivalent standard and ISO 17025 certification or equivalent standard of the laboratories used;
- Approval by an IACS classification society as a service provider for visual/sampling checks and testing of hazardous materials and preparing the IHM; and/or for maintaining and updating the IHM Part I.
- The responsibility for maintaining, updating and ascertaining the conformity of Part I of the IHM lies primarily with the ship owner. They have the duty of exercising due diligence when they appoint or instruct any person or party to conduct hazardous materials surveys, to compile reports, or to perform any kind of work within the context of the IHM process. Appointing an IHM Expert Company to compile/update an IHM should, in principle, be considered as exercise of due diligence in order to meet the relevant requirements of the Hong Kong Convention.
- Shipowners desiring to obtain a Statement of Compliance/International Certificate on IHM should use only IHM Expert Companies that have been accepted by the Administration, with the onboard verification survey for approval of the IHM and issuance of the Statement of Compliance/International Certificate on IHM conducted by a Recognized Organization.
|Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 – The Hong Kong Convention
|Resolution MEPC.269(68) - 2015, Guidelines for the Development of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials
|Resolution MEPC.222(64) – 2012 Guidelines for the Survey and Certification of Ships under the Hong Kong Convention
|Resolution MEPC.211(63) – 2012 Guidelines for the Authorization of Ship Recycling Facilities
|Resolution MEPC.196(62) – 2011 Guidelines for the Development of the Ship Recycling Plan
|Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on ship recycling- EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR)
|EMSA Guidance on the Inventory of Hazardous Materials
For more resources and Guidelines on Ship Recycling and IHM, click HERE