Netherlands signs up to Hong Kong Convention
Efforts to ensure environmentally-sound ship recycling has received another boost after the Netherlands last week became the eighth country to become a Party to 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.
The Convention has been established to improve working conditions for the people who carry out these hazardous jobs and to prevent pollution of the environment during scrapping. A sufficient number of signatories will ensure that ship owners and the shipping sector must observe the same regulations across the globe.
Under an EU Directive, Dutch shipyards and ship owners are already bound to strict regulations regarding scrapping and recycling. This Convention will procure worldwide entry into force for these regulations. This will benefit Dutch shipping companies, as it will improve their competitive position vis-à-vis countries that have not yet introduced such strict regulations.