Explained: How Hong Kong Convention Change on Recycling of Ships After 2025?

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Regulations in the Convention cover the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling of vessels, and the establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements.

New Delhi (ABC Live): The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the Hong Kong Convention) will enter into force on 26 June 2025. Its aim is to ensure that ships at the end of their operational lives are recycled safely and without posing unnecessary risks to human health and the environment. 

What is the Hong Kong Convention? 

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the Hong Kong Convention) was adopted at a diplomatic conference held in Hong Kong, China, in 2009.  

The Hong Kong Convention addresses all environmental and safety aspects relating to ship recycling by placing responsibilities and obligations on all parties concerned – shipowners, ship building yards, ship recycling facilities, flag States, port States, and recycling States - regarding the responsible management and disposal of associated waste streams in a safe and environmentally sound manner. 

Regulations in the Convention cover the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling of vessels, and the establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements.

When will the Hong Kong Convention enter into force? 

The Hong Kong Convention will enter into on 26 June 2025, i.e. 24 months after the entry-into-force conditions were met(June 2023), when  all conditions are as follows have been met;   

1. Not less than 15 Contracting States. The Hong Kong Convention now has 22 Contracting States, representing 45.81% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping: Bangladesh, Belgium, Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malta, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Serbia, Spain, and Türkiye.  

2. Not less than 40% of the world's merchant shipping by gross tonnage. The Contracting States above represent approximately 45.91% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping.  

3. Ship recycling capacity of not less than 3% of the gross tonnage of the combined merchant shipping of those States mentioned above. The combined annual ship recycling volume of the Contracting States during the preceding 10 years amounts to 23,848,453 gross tonnage, equivalent to 3.31% of the required recycling volume.

What guidelines exist to support Member States with implementation? 

The following guidelines have been developed and adopted to assist States in the implementation and enforcement of the Convention’s technical standards:  

2011 Guidelines for the Development of the Ship Recycling Plan, adopted by resolution MEPC.196(62);  

2012 Guidelines for Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling, adopted by resolution MEPC.210(63);  

2012 Guidelines for the Authorization of Ship Recycling Facilities, adopted by resolution MEPC.211(63)

2012 Guidelines for the survey and certification of ships under the Hong Kong Convention, adopted by resolution MEPC.222(64); and   

2012 Guidelines for the inspection of ships under the Hong Kong Convention, adopted by resolution MEPC.223(64).  

2023 Guidelines for the development of the Inventory of the Hazardous Materials, adopted by resolution MEPC.379(80).  


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