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Major ship breakers boycott IMO treaty

Major ship dismantlers such as India, Bangladesh and China are conspicuous by their absence

International Maritime Organization(IMO)'s Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009 has now recognised for its anti-environment, anti-labour and anti-communities stance.

Ships from ship owning countries from US and Europe have connived at their movement away from their shores in tandem with the complicity of IMO and lethargy of UN's Basel Convention despite the fact that ships US ship Platinum ll (SS Oceanic, SS Independence), French ship Blue Lady (SS Norway, SS France) and Danish ship RIKY using corporate veils and gullible and corrupt officials of developing countries.

So far the Convention has been signed, subject to ratification or acceptance by France, Italy, the Netherlands, Saint Kitts and Nevis and now Turkey. The combined maximum annual ship recycling volume of those States must during the preceding 10 years, constitute not less than 3% of their combined merchant shipping tonnage.

The Hong Kong Convention, adopted at a diplomatic conference in May 2009 is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives; do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment.

This convention is designed to ensure that not only are the conditions under which ship dismantlers work safe and environmentally acceptable but that all major issues surrounding ship recycling, including the fact that ships sold for scrapping may contain environmentally hazardous substances such as asbestos, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, ozone depleting chemicals are suitably addressed.

The text of the ship recycling Convention was developed over 3 year period with input from IMO Member States and relevant non governmental organizations and in cooperation with the International Labour Organization and the Parties to the Basel Convention and includes regulations covering the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships the operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner and the establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements.

The Convention has been open for signature by any State from September 1st 2009 and remained so until August 31st 2010. Thereafter, it shall be open for accession by any State.

It will enter into force 24 months after the date on which 15 States representing 40% of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage have either signed it without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval or lodged such agreements with the IMO Secretary‑General.

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