BIMCO applauds Bangladeshi Hong Kong Convention pledge after industry visit


During a visit to Bangladesh by Norwegian authorities, the Norwegian Shipping Association, the European Community Shipowners’ Association, the International Chamber of Shipping and BIMCO, between 8-11 May 2023, the Bangladesh Government confirmed that the country will ratify the Hong Kong Convention, allowing for the Convention to enter into force.

Bangladesh is now expected to ratify the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, commonly known as the Hong Kong Convention, in the next few weeks.

BIMCO’s Secretary General and CEO, David Loosley visited both Chattogram and Dhaka as part of the industry delegation to discuss the benefits of the Convention entering into force.

“BIMCO is delighted that Bangladesh has confirmed their commitment to ratifying the Convention in the very near future. The need for compliant facilities from the main recycling states such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan is critical due to the large number of ships expected to be recycled over the next 10 years,” says BIMCO Secretary General and CEO, David Loosley.

Several shipyards in the main recycling states have made significant efforts towards upgrading their facilities. BIMCO has previously called for the Convention to enter into force, and for yards already meeting the standards of the Hong Kong Convention to be added to the EU list of approved yards, as there are currently none outside of the EU on the list. With the Hong Kong Convention entering into force, focus can increasingly turn to these facilities and increase the much-needed global recycling capacity at yards complying with universal standards.

“The potential for adding to the circular economy is too large to be missed. The ship recycling industry provides thousands of jobs, and the steel is re-used, but it must comply with international safety and environmental regulations, and ship owners must choose to recycle at compliant yards only, to ensure that it is done safely. The Hong Kong Convention entering into force is a crucial step in the right direction,” Loosley added.

The Hong Kong Convention was developed over three and a half years in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the parties to the Basel Convention. It was adopted by 63 countries in 2009 and addresses safety, proper working conditions, environmental issues and how to deal with hazardous materials. Until now, the Convention has not been ratified by enough nations to enter into force. The Bangladeshi ratification will allow for the Convention to enter into force.