India, one of the world’s five major ship recycling countries, has acceded to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO’s) Hong Kong Convention, the treaty that will set global standards for safe and environmentally-sound ship recycling.
The county’s ship recycling volume considerably contributes to the required recycling capacity and has brought the convention a significant step closer entering into force, with the required 15 states now party to it.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “What happens to ships at the end of their lifetime is an important global issue with major consequences for safety and the environment.
“I urge all countries yet to do so to ratify this important convention so it can enter into force and provide a consistent, global regulatory regime for this industry.”
The Hong Kong Convention covers the design, construction, operation and maintenance of ships to ensure they can be recycled safely and in an environment-friendly way at the end of their lives.
Additionally, it also deals with how ships should be prepared for their final voyage to a recycling facility without compromising their safety or operational efficiency.
Under the Hong Kong Convention, ships sent for recycling must carry an inventory of all hazardous materials on board.
Ship recycling facilities are required to provide a “Ship Recycling Plan” that specifies how each ship will be recycled, based on its particular characteristics and its inventory of hazardous materials.
The treaty will enter into force 24 months after three separate criteria have been met and it must be ratified by 15 states.
These 15 states must represent 40% of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage, and a combined maximum annual ship recycling volume (during the preceding 10 years) of not less than 3% of their combined gross tonnage.
The number of states required has now been reached, thanks to India’s accession, but further tonnage and recycling volumes are needed before the convention can enter into force.
Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan and Turkey account for more than 98% of all ship recycling by gross tonnage between them and are the top five recycling countries in the world.