Ship recycling

The department is considering if Australia should accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the Hong Kong Convention).

The Hong Kong Convention is an international agreement developed under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization in May 2009.  It aims to ensure that when ships are recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, they do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment.

The Hong Kong Convention intends to build on existing international environment law including the International Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (the Basel Convention), and IMO guidelines. The Hong Kong Convention has yet to receive sufficient ratifications to enter into force under international law.

Currently, the regulation of ship recycling in Australia falls under legislation implementing the Basel Convention, the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989.

The department released a discussion paper for public comment from 17 February to 17 March 2023. The department is in the process of considering the submissions received and next steps. If you wish to contact us regarding this process, please email