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Ship Recycling : Bangladesh to ratify HKC soon

Bangladesh is 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.

The decision was confirmed by the Bangladesh Government during a visit to the country 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 upcoming ratification is expected to allow the treaty to finally enter into force, 14 years since its adoption.

The treaty requires a minimum of 15 states, representing 40% of the world’s merchant shipping by gross tonnage, to ratify it for it to enter into force.

The primary objective of the convention is to ensure that ship recycling activities are carried out in a manner that protects human health and safety, as well as the marine environment.

Key provisions of the Hong Kong Convention include requirements for the safe removal of hazardous materials from ships prior to recycling, the development of ship recycling plans, the certification of ship recycling facilities, and the proper management of waste generated during the recycling process.

“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.

Loosley visited both Chattogram and Dhaka as part of the industry delegation to discuss the benefits of the Convention entering into force.

Bangladesh plays a significant role as a shipbreaking nation due to its prominent shipbreaking industry, being the home to one of the world’s largest shipbreaking industries.

The shipbreaking sector has been a strong revenue generator for the country’s economy and has played a massive role in the development of supporting industries and thus employment opportunities.

However, the safety and environmental aspects of shipbreaking practices in Bangladesh have been under a lot of scrutiny amid improper waste management procedures and frequent worker accidents caused by poor safety procedures.

That being said, the country has been making massive strides in improving workplace safety and handling of hazardous materials with the aim of making its yards more sustainable and still attractive to customers around the globe.


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