Dutch shipowners recycle hardly any ships and if they do, they have their ships recycled in a way that is responsible for people and the environment, and without re-flagging (changing the status of the ship’s flag register). This has also been confirmed in recent years by the annual figures from the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
To truly regulate ship recycling properly and effectively on a global scale, the international shipping community, including the KVNR, has been stressing for years that global regulation is needed rather than regional regulation (such as the EU Ship Recycling Regulation). The Hong Kong Convention that will come into force on 26 June 2025 provides that global regulation. The treaty ensures the safe and environmentally responsible recycling of marine vessels worldwide, while keeping the playing field level. As a result, the regional European Ship Recycling Regulation will become redundant and should be repealed. This is also to avoid legal discrepancies. The convention can be amended, and if necessary tightened, after its entry into force. It is wise to review the application of the European Ship Recycling Regulation (regional regulations). The EU could make proposals for this, if the EU then finds it necessary.
It is positive that ships are recycled and that almost every part of a ship can be reused. However, in some countries, the way ships are recycled leaves much to be desired. This involves the protection of worker safety and the environment. This is why there are international and regional regulations governing the recycling of seagoing ships.
Hong Kong International Convention
The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (‘Hong Kong Convention’), adopted in 2009, sets adequate requirements for ship recycling that apply globally to ship recycling companies and ship owners. This convention will enter into force on 26 June 2025.