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IMO : Spain is the latest country to accede to IMO’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.

Mr. Víctor Jiménez Fernández, Counsellor for Transport, Alternate Permanent Representative of Spain to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (3 June) to deposit the instrument of accession.

The 17 Contracting States* to the Convention represent approximately 29.77% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping.
* Belgium, Congo, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Serbia, Spain, and Turkey.

Hong Kong International Convention

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (the Hong Kong Convention), was adopted at a diplomatic conference held in Hong Kong, China, from 11 to 15 May 2009, which was attended by delegates from 63 countries.
The 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.
The Hong Kong Convention 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 also addresses concerns raised about the working and environmental conditions at many of the world’s ship recycling locationsimage
The text of the Hong Kong Convention was developed over three and a half years, with input from the IMO Member States and relevant non-governmental organizations, and in co-operation with the International Labour Organization and the Parties to the Basel Convention.
Regulations in the new Convention cover: the design, construction, operation, and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships; the operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner; and the establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements.
Upon entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, ships to be sent for recycling will be required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, which will be specific to each ship.
An appendix to the Convention provides a list of hazardous materials the installation or use of which is prohibited or restricted in shipyards, ship repair yards, and ships of Parties to the Convention. Ships will be required to have an initial survey to verify the inventory of hazardous materials, additional surveys during the life of the ship, and a final survey prior to recycling.
Ship recycling yards will be required to provide a “Ship Recycling Plan”, specifying the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory. Parties will be required to take effective measures to ensure that ship recycling facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the Convention.

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