Yesterday the 26th June 2023, Bangladesh as one of the world’s largest ship recycling countries by capacity and Liberia as one of the world’s largest flag States by tonnage, became Contracting States to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the Hong Kong Convention). 

The Hong Kong 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, and same is now set to enter into force within 24 months, after Bangladesh and Liberia became Contracting States to the Convention.

The Hong Kong Convention will enter into force 24 months after the following required criteria have been met:

not less than 15 States;

not less than 40% of the world’s merchant shipping by gross tonnage; and

ship recycling capacity of not less than 3% of the gross tonnage of the combined merchant shipping of those States mentioned above.

These conditions have now been met since yesterday and therefore the Hong Kong Convention will enter into force on 26 June 2025, as the The Hong Kong Convention now has the following contracting parties IMO states: Bangladesh, Belgium, Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malta, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Serbia, Spain, Türkiye.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim commended: “I congratulate Bangladesh and Liberia for depositing their instruments of accession this June, triggering within 24 months the entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, and the global regime for safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships. This is a momentous day for IMO, and it is indeed a historical development for the international shipping industry, for the marine environment, and especially for workers and local communities in ship recycling countries globally,” and  “I invite other Member States of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), who have not yet become a party to the Hong Kong Convention, to do so as soon as possible,” he added.