Bangladesh to Ratify Hong Kong Convention

Ship recycling may double in next 10 years. BIMCO has said a ship recycling boom could be coming this decade with as many as 15,000 ships heading for scrap.


During a visit to Bangladesh by Norwegian authorities, the Norwegian Shipping Association, the European Community Shipowners’ Association, the International Chamber of Shipping, and BIMCO, between 8-11 May 2023, the Bangladesh Government confirmed that the country will ratify the Hong Kong Convention, allowing for the convention to enter into force.
Bangladesh is now expected to ratify the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, commonly known as the Hong Kong Convention, in the next few weeks.

BIMCO’s Secretary General and CEO, David Loosley visited both Chattogram and Dhaka as part of the industry delegation to discuss the benefits of the Convention entering into force.

“BIMCO is delighted that Bangladesh has confirmed their commitment to ratifying the Convention in the very near future. The need for compliant facilities from the main recycling states such as India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan is critical due to the large number of ships expected to be recycled over the next 10 years,” says BIMCO Secretary General and CEO, David Loosley.

Several shipyards in the main recycling states have made significant efforts towards upgrading their facilities. BIMCO has previously called for the Convention to enter into force. Shipyards already meeting the standards of the HKC will be added to the EU list of approved yards. As of this writing, there aren't any in this list outside of the EU yards. With the Hong Kong Convention entering into force, the focus can increasingly turn to these facilities and increase the much-needed global recycling capacity at yards complying with universal standards.

“The potential for adding to the circular economy is too large to be missed. The ship recycling industry provides thousands of jobs, and the steel is reused, but it must comply with international safety and environmental regulations. Ship owners must choose to recycle at compliant yards only, to ensure that it is done safely. The Hong Kong Convention entering into force is a crucial step in the right direction,”  Loosley added.

Regarding the Hong Kong Convention

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships was developed over three and a half years in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the parties to the Basel Convention. It was adopted by 63 countries in 2009 and addresses safety, proper working conditions, environmental issues, and how to deal with hazardous materials. Until now, the Convention has not been ratified by enough nations to enter into force. The Bangladeshi ratification will allow for the convention to enter into force.

Has the Hong Kong Convention been Ratified?

Until today, 20 Contracting States have ratified the Convention, representing 30.16% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping.

The countries that have ratified the Hong Kong Convention are:
As of April 2023, Belgium, Congo, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Sao Tome, and Principe, Serbia, Spain, and Turkey have acceded to the Convention.

See also the picture below:

Hong Kong convention regarding IHM Survey part III