BIMCO position statement 07: Ship Recycling


BIMCO's position has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.


Ship recycling is the most environmentally sound way to dispose of ships at the end of their commercial lives and contributes to the circular economy through the supply of scrap steel to the steel producing industries, thereby reducing both the need for raw materials such as iron ore and the overall CO2 emissions from the production of new steel.

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the HKC) will enter into force on 26 June 2025.

In the transitional period shipowners are urged to use HKC compliant facilities. This will encourage more recycling facilities to become HKC compliant and support the business case for compliant ship-recycling yards before the HKC has entered into force.

Regulation (EU) No. 1257/2013 on ship recycling (the EUSRR) was adopted in 2013 and will have to be reviewed by the European Commission not later than 18 months prior to 26 June 2025. Ships flying the flag of an EU member state must be recycled only in those safe and environmentally sound ship recycling facilities included in the European list of ship recycling facilities. The recently published third edition of the BIMCO report on the European List of Ship Recycling Facilities concluded that no facilities from the main recycling states are included on the EU list.

Further, the Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention) entered into force in 1992. It is applicable to EU member states through the EU Waste Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 1013/2006). The Ban Amendment to the Basel Convention (Basel Ban) prohibits all transboundary movement of hazardous waste (including end-of-life ships), which is intended for final disposal and/or recycling, from member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to developing countries. It entered into force in 2019.

For the Basel Convention and the HKC to co-exist, there is a need for the parties to the Basel convention to declare that the HKC provides an equivalent level of control as that established under the Basel Convention. BIMCO will engage with intergovernmental organisations, such as United Nations Environment Programme, the Basel Secretariat and EU institutions to highlight the importance of legal clarity.

Shipowners are responsible for updating their ships’ IHMs based on suppliers’ documentation in the form of mandatory Material Declarations. As most materials received onboard ships are produced and delivered outside Europe, the development and correct maintenance of the EU - IHM present a challenging requirement for shipowners.

BIMCO’s Position

  •  BIMCO will work to advocate that the HKC applies an equivalent level of control over ships going for recycling as the Basel Convention.
  • BIMCO believes that the HKC should prevail in any international law conflict between the HKC and the Basel Convention, and the HKC should henceforth be recognised as the authoritative framework for ship recycling.
  • BIMCO supports amending the HKC and its associated IMO guidelines to ensure that they stay up to date with best practices and technological developments.
  • BIMCO recommends that compliant recycling facilities in South Asia should be added to the EU List of Ship Recycling facilities as soon as possible.
  • BIMCO will advocate the important role that ship recycling plays in the circular economy.
  • BIMCO strongly recommends the use of BIMCO’s standard contract for the sale of ships for green recycling, RECYCLECON, during the transitional period before the HKC enters into force, by which time an updated version of RECYCLECON will be available.
  • BIMCO is of the opinion that while the content of the Material Declarations must be improved to enable shipowners to properly maintain the IHM, this cannot be achieved through regional legislation.
Gudrun Janssens
in Brussels,

VPS Bunker Alerts

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.

The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.

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