European shipowners welcome pledge of Bangladesh to ratify Hong Kong Convention

19 May 2023

During a visit to Bangladesh by Norwegian authorities, the Norwegian Shipowners' Association, the International Chamber of Shipping, BIMCO and ECSA, between 8-11 May 2023, the government of Bangladesh confirmed that the country will ratify the Hong Kong Convention, allowing for the convention to enter into force.

The Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships would finally enter into force, after its expected ratification by Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi authorities have pledged to ratify the convention in the next few weeks. This would mark a breakthrough in ensuring adequate safety and environmental conditions for ship recycling.

ECSA Secretary General, Sotiris Raptis, visited Bangladesh as part of a delegation led by the Norwegian authorities to put focus on this important issue. It was during this visit that the Bangladeshi authorities made the pledge.

“The pledge of Bangladesh to ratify the Hong Kong Convention is great news for improving ship recycling conditions internationally. The ratification of the convention will be a major breakthrough in ensuring that ships are recycled in a safe and environmentally sound manner. It is essential that yards located in the main recycling states that have made a significant progress and comply with stringent safety and environmental standards are added to the EU list of approved facilities” said ECSA Secretary General, Sotiris Raptis.

The Hong Kong Convention was adopted by 63 countries in 2009 and it sets requirements for ships, shipyards, flag states and authorities.  It addresses safety, proper working conditions, environmental issues and how to deal with hazardous materials. Until now, the Convention has not been ratified by enough nations to enter into force. The Bangladeshi ratification will allow for the Convention to enter into force.