A GROUP of international shipowners’ association met recently in Hong Kong and affirmed the industry’s commitment to the IMO Hong Kong Convention (HKC) and the need for environmentally-sustainable ship recycling.
The HKC, adopted in 2009, aims to ensure ship recycling does not pose unnecessary risks to human health, safety or to the environment. While the Convention has been adopted, it hasn’t yet entered into force.
At the recent shipowners’ meeting, co-ordinated by the Asian Shipowners’ Association, attendees agreed that the entry into force of the HKC was critical, noting the expected increase in demand for ship recycling in 2018 – particularly in the tanker sector.
The attending associations, including BIMCO, ECSA, ICS and INTERTANKO, also noted that ship-recycling states need to commit to improving the standards of ship recycling and ratify the Convention in order for it to enter into force.
The participating organisations at the meeting agreed to:
- Encourage member associations to approach their respective governments to hasten the process of ratification of HKC;
- Encourage national associations to request their respective governments to include ratification of the HKC as an agenda item when having an opportunity to talk with officials of the ship recycling states;
- Encourage all ship recycling States to ratify the HKC; and,
- Encourage IMO and its member States to establish a team for early enactment of the HKC under IMO which would act as a focal point for activities of the concerned stakeholders including governments, recyclers, workers, shipowners and observer organisations.
The HKC aims to address all issues around ship recycling, and particularly the fact that ships sold for scrap can contain many different kinds of hazardous materials.
The Convention contains provisions that cover the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships to facilitate recycling in an environmentally friendly and safe manner.