Under the bill, owners are obliged to issue life insurance for all employees and be fully aligned with the relevant global laws and conventions, local media reported.

In addition, the bill sets up a zone in Chittagong for the ship recycling industry under Section 4 of the draft law, for owners to conduct their activities.

The establishment of a yard without permission or outside the zone or importing ships without a no-objection certificate (NOC) could bring punishment of maximum two years in jail or a fine from Tk 10 lakh to Tk30 lakh or both. The punishment for availing the facility through fake certificate is maximum five years’ jail or a fine of Tk 5 lakh- Tk20 lakh.

Further, the law foresees the constitution of a 14-member ‘Board’, including the secretary of the Ministry of Industries as chairman, with the task to to oversee ship recycling activities. The tenure of each member will be three years after their appointment.

Concluding, the government will set up Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) within three years after enacting the law for the management of wastage produced from the ship recycling.

Bangladesh is one the world’s top four ship recycling countries by capacity, alongside China, India and Pakistan, which together account for 94.9% of known ship recycling in the world. Chittagong ship recycling yards have been criticized several times in the past for unbearable working conditions, with NGO Shipbreaking Platform reporting at least 14 cases of fatality and serious injury in the first three quarters of 2017 alone.

IMO has implemented a project to enhance safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh, the second phase of which is set to begin within January, following a US$1.1 million funding agreement with Norway, to support Bangladesh to comply with international requirements and guide it towards accession to the IMO Hong Kong Convention.