Germany Accedes to Hong Kong Convention for Safe Ship Recycling

ship breaking
File Photo: Katiekk / Shutterstock

Germany has become the latest country to accede to IMO’s treaty for safe and environmentally-sound ship recycling, known as the Hong Kong Convention.

Germany becomes the thirteenth Member State to sign, ratify, or accede to the convention, which has not yet entered into force.

Adopted in 2009, the Hong Kong Convention covers the design, construction, operation and maintenance of ships, and preparation for ship recycling in order to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling of end-of-life ships in a safe and efficient manner.

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.

Germany’s Director-General of Waterways and Shipping in the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Mr. Reinhard Klingen, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO headquarters in London this week to deposit the instrument of accession.

The Hong Kong Convention won’t enter into force until 24 months after ratification by 15 States representing no less than 40% of the world fleet’s tonnage and a combined maximum annual ship recycling volume of no less than 3 percent of their combined tonnage.

The 13 contracting states to the Hong Kong Convention now represent 29.42% of world merchant shipping tonnage.

Although not yet entered into force, the Hong Kong Convention is already serving as a driving force for shipbreaking yards to upgrade facilities to comply with its standards, and serves as the basis for the European Ship Recycling Regulation.