28 March 2019
Japan has become the 10th country to become a Party to the Hong Kong Convention which covers the operational lifetime and eventual recycling of ships.
Under the treaty, ships are required to carry an Inventory of Hazardous Materials, specific to each ship. Ship recycling yards are required to provide a "Ship Recycling Plan", specific to each individual ship to be recycled, specifying the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory.
Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of Japan to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters on Wednesday 27 March to deposit the instrument of accession.
Japan joins Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, the Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Serbia and Turkey as signatories but progress towards the convention which was adopted almost a decade ago in May 2009 has been slow.
The Hong Kong Convention will enter into force 24 months after the following conditions are met:
1. not less than 15 States have ratified,
2. the combined merchant fleets of those states constitute not less than 40% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping, and
3. the combined maximum annual ship recycling volume of the states during the preceding 10 years constitutes not less than 3% of the gross tonnage of the combined merchant shipping of the parties
Together, the ten countries represent approximately 23.16% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping. The combined annual ship recycling volume of the states during the preceding 10 years is 1,709,955gt, equal to just 0.57% of the merchant shipping tonnage of the same states.
To help increase international awareness of the importance of the early entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan in cooperation with the IMO Secretariat is hosting an international seminar on “Ship Recycling - Towards the Early Entry into Force of the Hong Kong Convention”. The seminar will be held on 10 May 2019 at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom. The seminar will discuss how to promote sustainable ship recycling and how to move forward for the early entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention.