Posted on 2016-10-14
The purpose of this agreement is to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling
Panama with the world's largest merchant fleet has acceded to the International Convention Hong Kong for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships (HKC, for its acronym in English).
This convention on ship recycling aims to address all aspects related to ship recycling, including the fact that ships sold for scrapping may contain potentially hazardous substances to the environment such as asbestos, heavy metals and hydrocarbons substances that deplete the ozone layer, pollute the seas or can be potentially harmful to marine life and humans.
The convention covers the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships.
With the accession of Panama, are already five countries which have ratified this Convention: France, Belgium, Norway and the Republic of Congo. These four cover about 2% of the gross tonnage of the world merchant fleet. It is estimated that Panama has about 330 million dwt, representing 18% of the world merchant fleet.
Arsenio Dominguez, Ambassador-Permanent Representative of Panama to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), met with the secretary general of the agency, Kitack Lim, to deposit the instrument of accession to the Convention on 19 September.
Denmark has also recently announced plans to join the HKC in spring 2017.
The convention, adopted in 2009, will enter into force 24 months after the date on which 15 States, representing 40% of the world merchant fleet by gross tonnage, have signed it.
The HKC stipulates that ships are sent to be recycled must carry on board an inventory of hazardous materials will be specific to each ship. In an appendix to the Convention a list of hazardous materials whose installation or use is prohibited or restricted in shipyards, ship repair yards, and ships of Parties to the Convention it is facilitated.
The document states that "the ship recycling yards will provide a ship recycling plan, specifying how it is to be recycled each ship depending on their characteristics and inventory. It will require the parties to take effective measures to ensure that ship recycling facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the provisions of the Convention "measures.
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