The IMO''s treaty for safe and environmentally-sound ship recycling is growing in Europe.

Hong Kong Convention

Spain has acceded to the IMO's Hong Kong Convention. Photo: IMO

Spain is the latest country to accede to the IMO’s Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (Hong Kong Convention).

The Convention 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 treaty, 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.

Víctor Jiménez Fernández, counsellor for transport, alternate permanent representative of Spain to the IMO, met IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim on 3 June to deposit the instrument of accession.

The 17 contracting states to the Convention represent approximately 29.77% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping.

These states include Belgium, Congo, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Serbia, Spain and Turkey.

By Rebecca Jeffrey