The Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) warmly welcomes Japan’s ratification of the Hong Kong International Convention (known as HKC and adopted in 2009) for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. Japan, one of the leading maritime nations in the world, has ratified the HKC and has been consistently active in promoting for some time now the ratification and early enactment of the HKC.
There have been significant improvements in recycling facilities around the world and the ASA firmly believes that now is the time for action. Shipping is an international industry and needs geographically-balanced green recycling yards throughout the world. Geographically-balanced ship recycling can only be achieved by international regulation. It is felt that the HKC is the only internationally- recognized instrument that can achieve this objective. Further, the ASA urges both India and China to ratify the HKC in the near future, and it is our strong desire that all parties recognize and actively promote earliest possible ratification by both India and China as both are key countries to meeting all three of the basic conditions for final enactment of the HKC. On the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the HKC, the ASA is convinced of steady progress towards early enactment of the HKC. The ASA welcomes by the recent series of ratification by several countries and that a number of other countries are also in the process of ratification. Japan’s ratification will expedite the early enactment of the HKC.
The HKC 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 HKC, 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” that specifies the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory.
The majority of ocean-going vessels are built in Asia and return to Asia at the end of their life. In support, the ASA strongly recommends its members to send ships to HKC-compliant yards or yards in the process of being certified in order to fulfil their obligation as good citizens with strong and committed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As the centre of Asian shipping, the ASA continues to be actively involved in green ship recycling.