In May 2009 the International Conference on the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships was held in Hong Kong. The so called 'Hong Kong Convention' require that ships shall have on board an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM). which shall be prepared and verified taking into account Guidelines, including andy treshold values and exemptions contained in those Guidelines, developed by the Organization. Regulations in the new Convention cover: 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.
Revolutionary is the fact that when the Hong Kong Convention enters into force ALL new ships will have to carry an IHM onboard before set in to service, existing ships will have to carry an IHM within 5 years after the adoption of the Convention - or if they are to be scrapped, whichever comes first.