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Denmark has acceded to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships

Denmark is the seventh country to accede to the international Hong Kong Convention. The aim of the Convention is to ensure better protection of people and the environment when ships are recycled.

Published 28. June 2017

On the 14th of June 2017 the International Maritime Organization under The United Nations confirmed that they had received the document, where Denmark expresses the wish to accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

Denmark thus became the seventh country to accede to the Convention, which aims to ensure better protection of people and the environment throughout the world in connection with recycling ships.

- Ships that have reached the end of their operational lives typically contain hazardous waste and they therefore have to be recycled under appropriate conditions. It's always a good day for the environment and for those working on ship recycling when a new country accedes to the Convention. I'm therefore very pleased that Denmark has finally acceded to the Convention. Shipping is a global industry for which we need common international regulations, said Esben Lunde Larsen, Danish Minister for Environment and Food.

A signal to other countries

With the Danish accession the Hong Kong Convention is now one step closer to entering into force.

At least 15 countries must accede to the Convention before it can enter into force, and so far, in addition to Denmark, the countries to have done so include Norway, the Congo, France, Belgium, Panama and Turkey.

- With Denmark's accession to the Convention, we are sending a strong signal to other countries about the importance of giving high priority to safe and environmentally responsible ship recycling. The more countries that accede to the Convention, the quicker we can ensure its entry into force. India, for example, has announced that it is ready to accede when all the EU Member States have acceded, said Mr Larsen. 

Facts: Ship recycling and the Hong Kong Convention

  • With support from more than 60 countries, the UN International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in May 2009. 
  • When the Convention enters into force, it will obligate the countries that have acceded to it to have ships broken up at facilities complying with the requirements of the Convention and to compel shipbreakers and recycling companies to recycle ships in accordance with the requirements of the Convention.
  • At least 15 countries must accede to the Convention before it can enter into force, and they must have a combined merchant fleet representing at least 40 percent of the gross tonnage of the global merchant fleet. 
  • Major flag states and the major ship-recycling states have to accede to the Convention before it can enter into force. In addition to Denmark, so far only Norway, the Congo, France, Belgium, Panama and Turkey have acceded to the Convention.
  • Worldwide, approximately 1,000 scrap merchant vessels are recycled (scrapped) every year so that valuable materials such as steel can be used again. By far the majority of these ships are sent to Asia, and they are recycled under unregulated conditions, e.g. in Bangladesh.
  • Danish-operated ships are typically recycled at shipyards in India, China and Turkey; however, a small number is recycled in Denmark. According to Danish Shipping, a total of around ten Danish ships are sent to scrap every year.

Further information:

Jens Fuglsang Edelholt, Press Officer, Ministry of Environment and Food, Tel. +45 91 35 69 96, email: jefed@mfvm.dk 

 


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