ICS celebrates the Hong Kong Convention entering into force

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The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) celebrates the leadership shown by both principal ship recycling country Bangladesh and the world’s second largest ship registry, the Liberian Registry, for agreeing to ratify the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention) today.

The Hong Kong Convention aims to ensure that ships when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or the environment.

Bangladesh ratified the Hong Kong Convention just a few weeks ago, on 12 June 2023, and Liberian Registry’s positive commitment today has allowed all the requirements to be met to successfully bring the much-anticipated Convention into force. The Hong Kong Convention enters into force 24 months after ratification by 15 States, representing 40% of the worlds merchant shipping by gross tonnage, with a combined maximum annual ship recycling volume not less than 3% of their combined tonnage.

Since the Convention was adopted on the 15 May 2009 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Chamber of Shipping has been advocating for it to be ratified and to come into force to ensure international safe and sustainable ship recycling processes.

John Stawpert, Senior Manager (Environment and Trade) of the International Chamber of Shipping commented: “It is overwhelmingly positive for the shipping and recycling industries, and the environment that the Hong Kong Convention has now entered into force following the most recent confirmation of ratification from Bangladesh and the Liberian Registry, a move that the International Chamber of Shipping have championed for 14 years.

“This marks a sea change for this global industry and confirms that in the near future shipowners will be confident that their vessels will find a safe and environmentally sound destination for recycling. The importance of the Convention entering into force, and what it means for ship recycling worldwide cannot be underestimated”.

Stawpert added: “Entry into force confirms the huge progress made in safe and environmentally sound ship recycling that has been driven by the Convention since its adoption in 2009 and realises the globally compliant market into which ships must now be sold, giving shipowners confidence and legal certainty that end-of-life vessels will be recycled properly.”

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