SYBAss recently finished a study of the status of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. Since the effects of the Convention would not only require effort from shipyards alone, SYBAss has published the result of its research. The report can be found on the website of SYBAss: www.sybass.org/fields-of-interest/regulation.
New legislation has been developed to reduce the environmental impact of ship breaking and to enhance the health and safety conditions of personnel at ship demolition companies. In addition to the recycling of ships, the Convention will also have a major impact on ship operation and building.
The SYBAss report clarifies the consequences to the superyacht industry, including indications as to which strategies may be followed with regards to the Convention. The Convention will become effective two years from the moment it has been ratified by 15 countries (representing not less than 40 percent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping). Ratification may come as early as 2013 say some experts, while others suggest 2015 – 2017 as the moment when the Convention will become effective. It is also still possible that the convention will eventually not be ratified at all. The ratification process can be followed on www.imo.org.
Should it come into force, the Convention would affect the entire superyacht industry. Shipyards will be obliged to deliver an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) for all new build yachts, requiring product information from the entire chain, including tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers. Moreover, existing yachts would need an IHM within five years after ratification of the Convention. Documenting hazardous materials is, however, not entirely new to the superyacht industry. Various classification societies already offer formats for documenting information on potentially hazardous materials used in the construction of a ship, its equipment and systems.
The SYBAss report also gives an example of how the car industry handled similar information streaming challenges. It illustrates how solutions should come from the industry itself. While they could be developed for individual cases, these solutions may also work for multiple cases or even other type of marine industries.