After Bangladesh and Liberia ratified the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the Hong Kong Convention), it is now expected to enter into force.
he Hong Kong Convention 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. As a result, many major organizations within the industry are celebrating the fact that the Convention will enter into force.
The Hong Kong Convention required criteria for entering into force:
- Not less than 15 States;
- Not less than 40% of the world’s merchant shipping by gross tonnage; and
- Ship recycling capacity of not less than 3% of the gross tonnage of the combined merchant shipping of those States mentioned above.
These conditions have now been met. According to the IMO, The Hong Kong Convention will enter into force on 26 June 2025.
The industry’s reaction:
#1 International Maritime Organization
This is a momentous day for IMO, and it is indeed a historical development for the international shipping industry, for the marine environment, and especially for workers and local communities in ship recycling countries globally.
… said Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO, and proceeded to congratulate Bangladesh on its accession.
The Secretary-General also expressed his deepest appreciation to Liberia. He said that as a prominent flag state, their accession to the Hong Kong Convention will provide a major advancement to Liberia’s regulatory framework and would enable the tonnage criteria to be met.
I invite other Member States, who have not yet become a party to the Hong Kong Convention, to do so as soon as possible
… he added.
#2 International Chamber of Shipping
In their statement, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) celebrates the leadership shown by both principal ship recycling country Bangladesh and the world’s second largest ship registry, the Liberian Registry, for agreeing to ratify the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention).
The near future shipowners will be confident that their vessels will find a safe and environmentally sound destination for recycling. The importance of the Convention entering into force, and what it means for ship recycling worldwide cannot be underestimated
… said John Stawpert, Senior Manager (Environment and Trade) of the International Chamber of Shipping
The International Chamber of Shipping and BIMCO were there when the Bangladeshi Government confirmed that the country will ratify the Hong Kong Convention in early May.
According to BIMCO, they have persistently called for the Hong Kong Convention to enter into force, and applaud the 20 nations that have already ratified.
Today, Bangladesh and Liberia have paved the way for the convention to enter into force. This commitment from Bangladesh and Liberia is more than just a step in the right direction, it is a leap that will benefit the environment and workers in the ship recycling industry.
… said BIMCO Secretary General & CEO, David Loosley.
#4 Asian Shipowners Association (ASA)
The decision reflects Bangladesh’s proactive approach to improving the industry’s practices, ensuring worker safety, and minimizing the environmental impact associated with ship recycling.
… said ASA Secretary General, Yuichi Sonoda
As ASA stated, the ratification opens up opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing with other signatory nations. Bangladesh looks forward to engaging in international partnerships that will contribute to the continuous improvement of ship recycling practices, benefiting not only the country but also the global maritime industry as a whole.