Turkey is the sixth country to ratify the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, following Norway, Congo, France, Belgium and Panama. It has been reported that also Denmark plans to ratify the Convention within 2017.
The Convention aims to set standards for ships and ship recycling facilities to ensure they operate in a manner that does not pose any risk to human health, safety and the environment.
According to Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants, all Turkish ship recycling facilities comply with the standards set out in the Convention. Furthermore, the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication has played an active role in the drafting of the Convention.
The Convention addresses a multitude of issues, such as:
- the handling of environmentally hazardous substances such as asbestos, heavy metals and hydrocarbons, which may be contained in vessels that are sold for scrapping;
- the appropriate construction and operation of vessels in order to ensure safe and sound recycling;
- the standards to be maintained by ship recycling facilities in order to ensure secure working and environmental conditions;
- the establishment of an enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, including certification and reporting obligations.
The Convention will enter into force 24 months after the date on which the following conditions are met:
- Ratification by 15 states,
- Representation by 40 per cent of world merchant shipping (by gross tonnage), and
- A combined maximum annual ship recycling volume not less than 3 per cent of the combined tonnage of the ratifying states.