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The Netherlands Accedes to Hong Kong Convention

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Hong Kong Convention has received another boost with the accession of the Netherlands.

On February 20, 2019, Dick Brus, Directorate for Maritime Affairs of the Netherlands, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, to deposit the instrument of acceptance.

The Netherlands has thus become the eighth country to ratify the convention for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling. Apart from this country, Belgium, Denmark, Congo, France, Norway, Panama and Turkey also acceded to the treaty.

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 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 treaty, 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, specifying the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory.

The Hong Kong Convention is to enter into force 24 months after ratification by 15 states, representing 40 percent of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage, and a combined maximum annual ship recycling volume not less than 3 percent of their combined tonnage.

Also on February 20, other IMO treaties supporting safe, secure and clean international shipping were ratified by Guyana. The South American country ratified two key IMO measures designed to preserve bio-diversity – the Ballast Water Management Convention and another on use of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships hulls – as well as others covering unlawful acts against the safety of navigation and removing wrecks from the seabed. It also signed four instruments covering liability and compensation.