London - Malta is the latest country to accede to the International Maritime Organization’s treaty for safe and environmentally-sound ship recycling – the Hong Kong Convention.
The Convention covers the design, construction, operation and maintenance of ships, and preparation for ship recycling in order to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships.
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. H.E. Mr. Victor Camilleri, Permanent Representative of Malta to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (14 May) to deposit the instrument of accession. Twelve contracting States party to the Convention now represent more than 28.8% of world merchant shipping tonnage.
The Hong Kong Convention was adopted at a Diplomatic Conference held in Hong Kong, China, in May 2009 and was developed with input from IMO Member States and non governmental organizations, and in co-operation with the International Labour Organization and the Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. It intends to address all the issues around ship recycling, including the fact that ships sold for scrapping may contain environmentally hazardous substances such as asbestos, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, ozone depleting substances and others. It will address concerns about working and environmental conditions in many of the world’s ship recycling facilities.