GMS Implements Hong Kong Convention

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Global Marketing Systems (GMS) cooperates with Germanischer Lloyd (GL) on green ship recycling. GMS, one of the world's biggest cash buyers, purchases vessels from ship owners before delivering them to ship recycling facilities. GL will help GMS to implement green ship recycling according to the Hong Kong Convention and independently proves to ship owners that GMS and the chosen recycling facility comply with the requirements. This service is for ship owners who have committed themselves to responsibly recycling their vessels by voluntarily following the Hong Kong Convention, which will come into force in the next years.

According to the agreement, GL will supervise the preparation and recycling processes, starting with the certification of Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM), via approval of the Ship Recycling Plan for a vessel and supervision of the ship recycling processes.

The Hong Kong Convention has been adopted at the Diplomatic Conference in Hong Kong (May 2009), which aims to improve standards of safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships. The Convention will require all ships above 500 GT to have an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM). The IHM is a ship specific document that lists relevant hazardous materials onboard a ship that may harm people's health or the environment, and that require careful handling or special awareness during ship operations and especially recycling.

For new ships the IHM preparation is fully relying on exchange of information between shipyards and all their suppliers. Development of effective processes is essential; as thousands of documents have to be exchanged for each vessel.

For existing ships, experts have to be involved by the ship owner for preparation of IHMs. The Hong Kong Convention also creates more obligations for ship owners like maintaining the IHMs during the operational life of a ship and to sell their redundant ships only to recycling facilities that meet the standards after they've been authorized by the national "competent authorities". Ship recycling facilities will be required to prepare a "Ship Recycling Plan", to specify the processes how the specific ship will be recycled, depending on it's the methods applied by the facility and ships´ IHM. All involved parties will be required to take effective measures to ensure that ship recycling facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the Hong Kong Convention. GL has developed for all stakeholders information packages and services to support early and effective implementation of the Hong Kong Convention. Comprehensive services for compliance is available from GL for all suppliers, shipyards, shipowners, cash buyers and ship recycling facilities.

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