ASA Welcomes Japan’s Accession to HKC

The Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) has welcomed Japan’s ratification of the Hong Kong International Convention (HKC) for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

Japan joined the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) convention in late March, becoming the tenth member of the treaty.

“There have been significant improvements in recycling facilities around the world and the ASA firmly believes that now is the time for action,” the association said.

“Shipping is an international industry and needs geographically-balanced green recycling yards throughout the world. Geographically-balanced ship recycling can only be achieved by international regulation. It is felt that the HKC is the only internationally- recognized instrument that can achieve this objective,” ASA pointed out.

Furthermore, ASA has urged both India and China to ratify the HKC in the near future.

“It is our strong desire that all parties recognize and actively promote earliest possible ratification by both India and China as both are key countries to meeting all three of the basic conditions for final enactment of the HKC.”

The HKC 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 convention, ships to be sent for recycling are required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, specific to each ship. Ship recycling yards are required to provide a Ship Recycling Plan that specifies the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory.

The majority of ocean-going vessels are built in Asia and return to Asia at the end of their life. In support, the ASA recommends its members to send ships to HKC-compliant yards or yards in the process of being certified.