Applicable to: Shipyards, suppliers, ship owners and managers, flag states as well as ship recycling facilities.
After being ratified by Bangladesh and Liberia, the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC) will ultimately go into effect on June 26, 2025. The HKC is anticipated to significantly influence ship recycling practices on a global scale. The year 2009 saw the adoption of “The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships” (HKC). The HKC becomes effective on June 26, 2025, 24 months after the ratification requirements have been satisfied.
The EU took action in response to the HKC’s lengthy ratification process, culminating in the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR), which went into effect on December 30, 2013, and has been fully applicable since December 31, 2020. The HKC’s requirements as well as a few extras were adopted by the EU SRR. Even though the EU SRR only has regional application, it has prepared the industry to meet the HKC criteria.
The key requirements can be summed up in two ways:
- Ship Recycling Facilities (SRF) must be authorised by their relevant authorities and only accept ships that meet the HKC standards.
- Each ship of 500 GT and higher must have a verified Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM).
Impact on newly built ships and operational ships
A certified IHM must be present on board every ship with 500 GT or more. The majority of shipyards already provide IHM preparation for newbuilds with the EU SRR, independent of their flag or trading area, thus the additional impact of the HKC is not anticipated to be significant. By 26 June 2030, or earlier if recycling begins sooner, ships in service must comply with this criteria. Within the purview of HKC, there are approximately 53,000 ships in the global fleet. With the complete implementation of the EU SRR, according to DNV, over 30,000 boats already have an IHM Certificate or Statement of Compliance. However, in the upcoming years, a sizable number of 23,000 vessels would need to be outfitted with a certified IHM.
As Port State Control is anticipated to concentrate on IHM inspections globally once the HKC enters into force, the maintenance of the IHM in the event of any changes to the ship’s construction or equipment would become more crucial.
Impact on worldwide ship recycling practises
Over the next ten years, 15,000 ships—or an average of 1,500 each year—will need to be recycled, according to BIMCO. It is anticipated that the impact on Ship Recycling Facilities (SRF) will be significant. Each HKC party must set up a system for approving SRFs in order to guarantee that they adhere to the HKC’s specifications. The duration of such a permit, known as a Document of Authorization Ship Recycling (DASR), is a maximum of five years. Only ships that adhere to HKC, which they are permitted to recycle, may be accepted by authorised SRFs.
Each SRF is required to create a Ship Recycling Facility Plan (SRFP), which must include a method to guarantee that the HKC criteria are followed, such as:
- A plan to guarantee environmental safety and protection
- A training curriculum for the SRF’s ecologically friendly and safe functioning
- A strategy for emergency readiness and reaction
- A system for keeping records
- A system for reporting pollutants, events, accidents, occupational illnesses, and other harmful consequences on the environment and worker safety.
It is advised that ship owners, ship managers, shipyards, and ship recycling facilities become familiar with the HKC’s compliance standards. In order to prepare for the implementation of the HKC, DNV will release additional recommendations in the coming period.
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