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Press Release

ICS Publications launches new Ship Recycling Guide as Hong Kong Convention is ratified

3 July 2023


Providing shipowners clarity and support on how to comply with new regulations

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published a new Ship Recycling Guide providing expanded advice to shipowners and other key stakeholders on compliance with the provisions of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention).

This comes at a crucial time following the announcement from Bangladesh of its intent to ratify the Hong Kong Convention, a significant move towards ensuring that decommissioned vessels do not unnecessarily endanger human health, safety, or the environment.

Adopted in 2009, the Convention aims to reduce risks to health, safety and the environment and stipulates ships sent for recycling carry an inventory of all hazardous materials on board. Recycling facilities are required to provide a Ship Recycling Plan, specifying how each vessel will be recycled, based on its particular characteristics and its inventory of hazardous materials.

John Stawpert, Senior Manager (Environment and Trade) of the International Chamber of Shipping, commented:

“The guide marks the next phase in ICS’s 25-year commitment to safe and environmentally sound ship recycling, beginning with the Industry Code of Practice published in 2001, which formed the basis of IMOs guidance, to the burgeoning global ship recycling regime of the Hong Kong Convention today.”

The new Ship Recycling Guide explains the differences between the European Union Ship Recycling Regulation and the Hong Kong Convention, ensuring that companies are in compliance with the applicable law.

John Stawpert added:

“Environmental, Social and Governance factors and demands from charterers and customers has meant that Hong Kong Convention compliance has been the growing standard for sales for ship recycling and the process of recycling itself. Ratification by a major ship recycler such as Bangladesh, further confirms this trend, and the entry into force of the convention will create the global level playing field that has been evolving for a generation. Compliance with the requirements of the Convention will therefore be essential for ship recyclers to secure their market share in the future.”

The new guide includes details on all the relevant regulations (including the European ship recycling regulation), surveys, development, and maintenance of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM), how to sell a ship for recycling as well as how to prepare it for sale.

Sarah Lovell, Technical Writer at International Chamber of Shipping said:

“This new comprehensive guide has been designed to equip shipowners and crew with the necessary knowledge to ensure a safe and sustainable recycling process. We’ve ensured it covers everything from the development and maintenance of the inventory of hazardous materials (IHM) while the ship is in service, through to preparing the ship for safe and sustainable recycling at the end-of-life.”

Whether companies have a new build ship, are upgrading systems on board or are looking to recycle an end-of-life ship, this guide is an essential resource for shipowners, ship managers, crew, masters and chief engineers.

For more information and to order the ICS Ship Recycling Guide, please visit:

About ICS

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for merchant shipowners and operators, representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.

For any media enquiries, please contact Bex Pearce or Michelle Cross at The MTM Agency [email protected] or [email protected].