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Pakistan ratifies HK Convention on ship recycling

Pakistan has ratified the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) treaty for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling, the Hong Kong Convention, the last of the big three shipbreaking nations to do so.

Pakistan has become the 23rd country ratify the Hong Kong Convention which comes into force in June 2025. Other major ship recycling providing sub-continent nations India and Bangladesh had already ratified the convention.

On 30 November, Vice Admiral (Retd.) Iftikhar Ahmad Rao, Maritime Minister and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Maritime Affairs, Pakistan, deposited the instrument of accession with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London.

The failure until now to ratify the convention was seen as putting Pakistan's ship recycling yards at a disadvantage.

The deposit follows an IMO-run national seminar in Karachi, Pakistan, to support the country’s implementation of the convention and related guidelines.

“Pakistan’s commitment to the Hong Kong Convention marks a pivotal step in promoting responsible ship recycling. With Pakistan ratifying HKC, we have completed the triage of ship recycling countries in the Indian subcontinent that have accepted green and sustainable recycling,” commented Anil Sharma, Founder & CEO of GMS.

GMS is the largest buyer of ship and offshore assets for recycling.

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships will enter into force on 26 June 2025. The treaty was adopted at a diplomatic conference held in Hong Kong, China, in 2009. It is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and to the environment. It embraces the “cradle to grave” concept, addressing all environmental and safety aspects relating to ship recycling, including the responsible management and disposal of associated waste streams in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

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