February 16, 2024
Pictured: "reuse" and "recycle" signs. Ship-owner groups are calling for the IMO to resolve legal problems with international ship recycling treaties. Photo by "Frames for your heart" via Unsplash.

Bimco calls on IMO to solve legal inconsistencies in Ship Recycling Conventions

By Shipping Australia

BIMCO, together with Bangladesh, India, Norway, Pakistan and the International Chamber of Shipping, has submitted a paper ahead of the 81st Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting on 18-22 March 2024. The paper highlights the need to solve possible conflicting requirements of the Hong Kong Convention and the Basel Convention which could have severe consequences for shipowners, ship recycling facilities and ships if unresolved.

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the Hong Kong Convention) will enter into force on 26 June 2025. Ahead of its entering into force, BIMCO and the co-signatories of the paper ask the MEPC of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for more legal certainty. This includes clarification and assurance that shipowners and parties operating in compliance with the Hong Kong Convention will not be sanctioned as a violation of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (the Basel Convention).

“The ratification of the Hong Kong Convention marks the beginning of a new era for the ship recycling industry. We must make sure that legal obstacles and conflicts between the two conventions governing the safe and sound recycling of ships do not limit the scope of this historic opportunity,” BIMCO’s Secretary General & CEO, David Loosley says.

In some jurisdictions, contravention of the Basel Convention, as applied to ship recycling, has resulted in sanctions against shipowners and masters.

One of the inconsistencies the paper asks the IMO to consider is related to hazardous waste. Once a ship has received an International Ready for Recycling Certificate (IRRC) under the Hong Kong Convention, it may at the same time be considered a hazardous waste under the provisions of the Basel Convention. During the entire validity period of the IRRC (up to three months), the ship could therefore risk being arrested for breach of the Basel Convention requirements while trading.

Since both the Hong Kong Convention and the Basel Convention can apply to end-of-life ships, shipowners risk prosecution in cases when the shipowner has sent the ships for safe and environmentally sound recycling at yards that comply with the Hong Kong Convention in one of the four major recycling states, namely Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Türkiye.

“We and the co-sponsors of this paper welcome and support the increased transparency and rising standards brought about by the Hong Kong Convention finally entering into force. It is therefore crucial for the consistent implementation of the convention to ensure that compliance does not result in sanctions under the Basel Convention,” Loosley says.

Read the full submission here.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

Search

Become a Member

Membership is open to all ship owners, operators and agents both Australian and International providing services to or within Australia.

Upcoming Events

May 8
Shipping Australia QLD Shipping Industry Golf Day
Join friends and colleagues for an enjoyable day, followed by a sumptuous dinner at the 2024 SAL QLD Shipping Industry Golf Day. The Golf Day will once again be held at the Wynnum Golf Club (located in beautiful Bayside and meanders over 31 hectares of picturesque parkland) on 8th May 2024. Ticket price includes: Light...
May 16
Shipping Australia Victoria 2024 Golf Day
The 8th Phil Kelly OAM Perpetual Golf Challenge Latrobe Golf Club, 8 Farm Road, Alphington VIC 3078 Format – 4 Ball Ambrose Thursday 16th May 2024 The 2024 SAL VIC Golf Day will be held on Thursday 16th May 2024 at the scenic Latrobe Golf Club.  Come along and enjoy a great course and scenery. ...

Latest News

Threat of piracy increases around South East Asia
Five separate attacks by armed robbers against four large bulk carriers and a general cargo vessel were recorded in the Singapore Straits over the last quarter, the IMB reports. The threat for crew safety is considered to be “high” as five crew were taken hostage in three separate incidents in January. In one late January...
Somali pirates are attacking vessels and hijacking ships
Somali pirates are chasing and firing at ships, and are hijacking vessels, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has reported, adding a warning that the amount of violence is increasing. Piracy off the coast of Somalia, a state with a large coastline in the Horn of Africa, became endemic to the region after a local rebellion...

Latest Magazine

Shipping Australia – Annual Review 2023
January, 2024

Subscribe to the Signal Newsletter

Be the first to know about releases and industry news and insights or catch up on any editions you missed.