Pakistan 23rd country to join IMO’s ship recycling convention

Pakistan has ratified the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) treaty for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling, the Hong Kong Convention.


On November 30, Vice Admiral (Retd.) Iftikhar Ahmad Rao, Maritime Minister and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Maritime Affairs, Pakistan, deposited the instrument of accession with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London.

The deposit follows an IMO-run national seminar in Karachi, Pakistan, to support the country’s implementation of the convention and related guidelines.

GMS, the largest buyer of ship and offshore assets for recycling, congratulated Pakistan on ratifying the treaty.

“Pakistan’s commitment to the Hong Kong Convention marks a pivotal step in promoting responsible ship recycling. With Pakistan ratifying HKC, we have completed the triage of ship recycling countries in the Indian subcontinent that have accepted green and sustainable recycling,” Anil Sharma, Founder & CEO of GMS, commented.

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the IMO, shipowners and stakeholders, we now have the green recycling capacity to respond to the emerging increase in the supply of scrap candidates in the next ten years. We commend the Pakistani government for setting a strong example in the maritime sector by focusing on sustainable and safe practices.”

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships will enter into force on 26 June 2025. The treaty was adopted at a diplomatic conference held in Hong Kong, China, in 2009. It is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and to the environment. It embraces the “cradle to grave” concept, addressing all environmental and safety aspects relating to ship recycling, including the responsible management and disposal of associated waste streams in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

The treaty places responsibilities and obligations on all parties concerned – including shipowners, shipbuilding yards, ship recycling facilities, flag states, port states, and recycling states. Upon entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, ships to be sent for recycling will be required to carry on board an Inventory of Hazardous Materials.

Ship recycling facilities authorized by relevant authorities will be required to provide a Ship Recycling Plan, specific to each vessel to be recycled. Additionally, governments will be required to ensure that recycling facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the convention.

The Hong Kong Convention now has the following contracting parties: Bangladesh, Belgium, Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malta, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Serbia, Spain, and Türkiye.