Turkey acceded to IMO's Hong Kong Convention, the treaty for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling, setting a landmark as one of the five major ship recycling countries in the world. Mr. Ümit Yalçın, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkey to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instrument of accession to the treaty, on 31 January.
The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (2009) 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 Hong Kong Convention, 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.
In its accession instrument, Turkey declares that it requires explicit approval of the Ship Recycling Plan before a ship may be recycled in its authorized Ship Recycling Facility(ies).
Turkey became the seventh State to accede to the Hong Kong Convention. The treaty will enter into force 24 months after ratification by 15 States, representing 40% of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage, and a combined maximum annual ship recycling volume not less than 3% of their combined tonnage.
The seven contracting States (Belgium, Congo, Denmark, France, Norway, Panama, Turkey) represent more than 20% of world merchant shipping tonnage and the combined annual ship recycling volume of the Contracting States during the preceding 10 years is 1,652,961 GT, i.e. 0.62% of the merchant shipping tonnage of the same States.
The top five ship recycling countries in the world, accounting between them for more than 90% of all ship recycling by tonnage, are Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan and Turkey.
In a bid to develop a roadmap towards accession to the Hong Kong convention, IMO is implementing a project in cooperation with Norway (SENSREC Phase II) in Bangladesh to enhance safe and environmentally sound ship recycling.