The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), 81st session, met in-person at IMO Headquarters in London from 18 to 22 March 2024. During the session, the committee discussed various subjects, one of which relates to ship recycling and the Hong Kong and Basel Conventions.

More specifically, MEPC discussed a potential overlap in requirements between the Hong Kong Convention and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. MEPC requested the Secretariat to continue and strengthen the cooperation with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention to cater for any information and assistance needed to ensure clear and robust implementation of the Hong Kong Convention; and to report the outcome of MEPC 81 to the COP to the Basel Convention.

Also, MEPC invited interested Member States to bring the issue to the attention of relevant meetings under the Basel Convention and to submit further proposals to MEPC 82 on the interplay between the Hong Kong and Basel Conventions regarding ship recycling. The IMO Secretariat was requested to develop draft guidance on this matter, in consultation with the Basel Convention Secretariat.

The current conflict of application between the ship regulations, with particular regards to the Basel Convention that addresses ships that may be scraped outside OECD countries, proved to be another challenge for ship owners when it is time to deal with their vessels that reached end of life. With the Hong Kong Convention entering in force in an year, industry stakeholders are awaiting to get clarity on the subject, hence a coordination among policy makers. The SRTI continues to observe the ship recycling regulatory framework’s evolution as this will directly impact the evolution of the industry as well as the available tools in the hands of stakeholders to perform law compliant ship recycling, a compliance with several unresolved question marks.

To help ship recycling stakeholders to make better choices, the SRTI is about to launch a webinar series where subject matter experts will be invited to talk about subjects that are relevant for the industry. One of them will be centered around the policy and regulations landscape evolution. Soon we will unveil the dates and the guests. Stay tuned to know more.

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