The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that the Hong Kong Convention will enter into force on 26 June 2025.
This announcement follows the ratification of the Convention by Liberia and Bangladesh. These are two key countries, Liberia being one of the world’s largest registries of merchant ships and Bangladesh being a major player in ship dismantling.
These last two ratifications fulfil the conditions that were set:
- the Convention had to be ratified by 15 States,
- the combined merchant fleets represent at least 40% of the gross tonnage of the world merchant fleet
- and a maximum annual volume of ship recycling over the last ten years representing in total at least 3% of the gross tonnage of the merchant fleets of the said States.
The aim of the agreement is to ensure “safe and environmentally sound ship recycling”. Shipyards will have to provide “a ship recycling plan indicating how each ship will be recycled. It will also have to take into account the specific characteristics of the ship and its inventory.
The Convention will impose responsibilities and obligations on all parties involved, including shipowners, shipyards, ship recycling facilities, flag states, port states and recycling states.
The Convention has been ratified by 22 countries. It now includes the following Contracting Parties: France, Germany, Bangladesh, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Ghana, India, Japan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Turkey.
The Secretary General of the Organisation, Mr Lim, invited the other Member States that have not yet acceded to the Hong Kong Convention to do so as soon as possible.