RBSA: Bangladesh’s ratification of the Hong Kong Convention is a major milestone in industry’s drive towards green shipping

13th June 2023

Belgian shipowners, represented by the Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association (RBSA), applaud the approval by the Government of Bangladesh yesterday to ratify the Hong Kong Convention. This moves the world one step closer to the entry into force of a common global standard to recycle end-of-life ships.

With the ratification by Bangladesh, we are finally reaching to the much-anticipated realisation of international legislation on ship recycling,” commented RBSA Managing Director, Wilfried Lemmens. “Once entered into force, the Hong Kong Convention can ensure that when recycled upon reaching the end of their operational life, ships do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health and safety or the environment.”

The ‘Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships‘ was first signed in 2009 but for the treaty to take effect requires ratification by a minimum of 15 states that represent 40% of the world’s merchant shipping by gross tonnage. After Bangladesh, another ratification is needed to kick-start its effects.

Mr Lemmens further elaborated:

On behalf of the community of Belgian shipowners, the RBSA thanks the government and the people of Bangladesh for pushing us all forward. Bangladesh’s ratification of the HKC goes to show that recycling in a responsible way is the way forward to shipowners as well as ship recycling yards.

Furthermore, shipping is a global sector with the global supply chain carried on the backs of ships every moment of every day of the year. To ensure we can recycle ships sustainably and responsibly, it makes sense that we all do it according to the same high global standards.

Belgium ratified the Hong Kong Convention on 7 March 2016.