IMO Ship Recycling Convention takes form

At an International Maritime Organization (IMO) Working Group meeting held in London this week, further progress was made on the draft of the International Ship Recycling Convention in readiness for its adoption in 2009.


A number of key themes, which will ensure the success - or not - of the Convention, were covered during the week-long meeting. These included the practicalities associated with preparing a vessel for recycling and its final certification process. The debate on this issue focused on the time-line and the various communications between the ship owner, the recycling facility, the flag administration and the recycling state. Discussion emphasised the need on the one hand to ensure that there is in place a system of reporting to bring about compliance with the Convention, and at the same time the need on the other hand to take into account the practical and commercial realities of the ship recycling process.


Striking a balance between compliance and practical realities, the Working Group touched on the form and depth of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM). There appears still to be a great deal of  ambiguity as to the depth and detail that will be required in the IHM. With this uncertainty, there will need to be further agreement on how the IHM will be developed, and its format, before many of the other elements of the Convention can fall into place. Further consideration will also have to be given to the guidelines for the development of an IHM, as it is being suggested that an understanding of how the IHM for existing ships will be developed will assist in understanding how detailed in practical terms the IHM should actually be.


The Working Group will convene once again during the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting due to be held in July. With several more Committee meetings scheduled between now and the target adoption date of 2009, the draft Convention is well on track to meet this target date.


Contact Tim Wilkins