India has acceded to the IMO Hong Kong Convention. India is one of the five most important ship recycling countries in the world. The treaty will set standards to insure secure and eco friendly ship recycling.
The accession of India has brought the treaty closer to its enforcement with 15 member States as per the requirements and with the volume of ship recycling by India, the needed recycling capacity also is almost met.
The Hong Kong Convention includes the design, construction, operation and maintenance of ships to make sure that they are recycled following secure and eco friendly means.
It also includes how the ships are to be prepared for their last journey to a recycling facility by taking no chances with the safety and efficiency in operation.
According to the Hong Kong Convention, the ships that are sent for recycling must take along an inventory of harmful materials on board. A ‘Ship Recycling Plan’ is to be given by the recycling facility, mentioning how every ship will be recycled on the basis of their specific features and inventory of harmful materials.
The equipments of accession to the treaty were deposited by Mr. Gopal Krishna, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Shipping and Mr. Amitabh Kumar, India’s Director General of Shipping with IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim on 28th of November at the thirty-first session of the IMO Assembly.
The Secretary General of IMO, Mr. Lim, urged other States, especially those which have a huge recycling volume to join the treaty soon.
“What happens to ships at the end of their lifetime is an important global issue with major consequences for safety and the environment,” Mr. Lim said. “I urge all countries yet to do so to ratify this important convention so it can enter into force and provide a consistent, global regulatory regime for this vital industry.”
The treaty will be enforced after 24 months of the fulfillment of three different criteria. Ratification by 15 Nations however, these countries should represent 40% of merchant shipping of the world by gross tonnage and a joined maximum annual volume of ship recycling by not less than 3% to their gross tonnage taken together.
The required number of States has been fulfilled with the accession of India, however, the required tonnage and volume of recycling are yet to be met before the enforcement.
Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan and Turkey come under the top five ship recycling Nations in the world that account for over 98% of ship recycling all round the world by gross tonnage.