ICS: Hong Kong Convention’s Entry into Force Is Critical

Global Shipowners’ Associations have reaffirmed commitment to the Hong Kong Convention and the need for a global solution for environmentally sustainable ship recycling.

A group of leading international shipowners’ associations, including the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA), BIMCO, ECSA, ICS and INTERTANKO, met in Hong Kong on May 14 to consider the next steps to take in bringing the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally-Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (HKC) into force.

Noting the expected increase in demand for ship recycling in 2018, particularly in the tanker sector, and after reviewing the increasing need to expand the number of Hong Kong Convention compliant ship recycling facilities around the world, the joint industry meeting agreed that the “entry into force of the HKC was critical.”

To be able to bring the HKC into force however, it is essential that the ship recycling states commit to improving the standards of ship recycling and ratify the HKC. In this regard, the participating associations said they would:

– 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 participating associations also reviewed the status in Europe of the European Union Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR) and the EU List of Recycling Facilities. It was noted that there is expected to be a lack of facilities on the EU List when the Regulation enters into force on December 31, 2018 as well as the fact that until now no non-EU ship recycling yard is included in the EU list.

In this respect, the shipowners associations urged the European Commission to increase the recycling capacity on the EU List with the inclusion of facilities outside of Europe.