Ten years after the adoption of IMO’s Hong Kong Convention for the
Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, in May 2009, there has been
progress with voluntary application of its requirements, but the treaty needs
to enter into force for it to be widely implemented.
“I urge Member States who have
not yet done so to ratify the Convention at the earliest opportunity, in order
to bring it into force as soon as possible,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack
Lim, speaking at an International
Seminar on Ship Recycling: Towards the Early Entry into Force of the Hong
Kong Convention (10 May).
The seminar was organized by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure,
Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan in cooperation with the IMO Secretariat.
Speakers from industry and national authorities, including ship
recycling countries, are addressing the seminar, which aims to highlight how to
promote sustainable ship recycling and discuss what is necessary to move
forward for the early entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention.
The Hong Kong Convention covers the design, construction, operation and
maintenance of ships, and preparation for ship recycling in order to facilitate
safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and
operational efficiency of ships. Under the treaty, ships are required to carry
an Inventory of Hazardous Materials, specific to each ship. Ship recycling yards
are required to provide a "Ship Recycling Plan", specific to each
individual ship to be recycled, specifying the manner in which each ship will
be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory.
Secretary-General Lim highlighted the work already done by IMO to
develop guidelines to assist in implementation…
To date, the Hong Kong Convention has been ratified or acceded by eleven
States: Belgium, Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Estonia, France, Japan, the
Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Serbia and Turkey. The combined merchant fleets of
these eleven States constitute 23% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant
fleet and their combined ship recycling volume constitutes about 1.6 million
gross tonnage (about 0.56% of the gross tonnage of the eleven contracting
States' merchant fleet). Entry into force requires 15 States, 40% of the
world's merchant fleet and their ship recycling volume constituting not less
than 3% of the gross tonnage of these contracting States' merchant fleet.