BIMCO position statement on ship recycling


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


The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the HKC) was adopted in 2009 but has not yet entered into force. It is hoped that once all the criteria have been met, the entry into force of the HKC will take precedence over the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention), and the Ban Amendment to the Basel Convention (Basel Ban) that entered into force in 1992 and 2019, respectively, with regard to transboundary export of ships for recycling.

Regulation (EU) No. 1257/2013 on ship recycling (the EUSRR) was adopted in 2013 and is aimed at facilitating the entry into force of the HKC. Ships calling at a port or anchorage of a port in the European Economic Area (EEA) must regardless of its flag have on board an inventory of hazardous materials (IHM) that specifies the location and approximate quantities of such materials. 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 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 and may further be applicable to a ship flying a flag other than an EU member state if it leaves EU territory with the intent of being recycled in a non-OECD country.

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 EUSRR may in this respect present an impossible requirement for shipowners.

BIMCO’s Position

  • Ship recycling is the most environmentally sound way to dispose of ships at the end of their commercial lives. BIMCO fully supports the HKC and its aims to ensure that ships being recycled do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety nor to the environment.
  • IMO member states, and especially the recycling states, are encouraged to ratify the HKC as soon as possible.
  • BIMCO strongly recommends the use of BIMCO’s standard contract for the sale of ships for green recycling, RECYCLECON. This recommendation applies during the transitional period before the HKC has entered into force, as the contract incorporates many of the requirements of the HKC.
  • The HKC should prevail in any international law conflict between the HKC and the Basel Convention, and the HKC should therefore be recognised as the authoritative framework for ship recycling.
  • BIMCO endorses the EUSRR’s aim of facilitating early ratification of the HKC.
  • BIMCO believes that there is an urgent need to ensure that the European list of approved ship recycling facilities is also fit for recycling of ships engaged in deep sea shipping and BIMCO supports the EU’s endeavours to conclude bilateral agreements with major ship recycling nations to this effect.
  • The content of the Material Declarations must be improved enabling shipowners to be able to properly maintain the IHM, however this cannot be achieved through regional legislation.
  • BIMCO believes that illegal ship recycling should not be added to the EU Directive as an environmental crime.
Aron Soerensen
in Copenhagen, DK

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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