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Abandonment of ships  
Compilation of relevant practical information for stakeholders on the environmentally sound dismantling of ships



Basel Convention, ILO & IMO Technical Guidelines
Developing short and medium term measures
Pre-cleaning and decontamination
Gas-free-for-hot-work certification
Industry codes and contracts
Practical manuals
National policies


This page brings together practical information and documents from various sources on the environmentally sound management of ship dismantling.

The documents collected seek to serve as a helpful reference tool for stakeholders seeking to develop measures to reduce the impact of ship dismantling on human health and the environment in the short and medium term, while the negotiations on a legally binding instrument at the IMO are on-going.

The Secretariat has compiled this information and placed it on its web site pursuant to decision OEWG-V/8 (paragraph 5, 6 and 7), adopted at the fifth session of the Open-ended Working Group to the Basel Convention.

Basel Convention, ILO & IMO Technical Guidelines

  • Basel Convention Technical Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of the Full and Partial Dismantling of Ships: Adopted in 2002 by decision VI/24 of the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The guidelines provide information and recommendations on procedures, processes and practices that must be implemented to achieve Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) at ship dismantling facilities.
  • ILO: Safety and Health in Shipbreaking: Guidelines for Asian countries and Turkey: Adopted in 2004 at the 289 th session of the ILO Governing Body ( E , F, S ). They are designed to assist shipbreakers and competent authorities alike to implement the relevant provisions of ILO standards, codes of practice and other guidelines on occupational safety and health. The Guidelines are also available from the ILO in Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Turkish and Urdu.
  • IMO Guidelines on ship recycling: adopted in 2003 by Resolution A.962 (23) of the IMO Assembly (E, F, S), and amended in 2005 by Resolution A.980 (24) of the IMO Assembly (E, F, S). The guidelines have been developed to provide guidance to flag, port and recycling States, shipowners, shipbuilders, marine equipment suppliers, and recycling facilities on “best practices”, which takes into account the ship recycling process throughout the life cycle of the ship.
  • Comparison of the three sets of guidelines (Basel Convention, ILO, IMO): an informal intersessional working group co-ordinated by the United Kingdom compared the three sets of guidelines between the first and second sessions of the Joint IMO/ILO/BC Working Group (JWG) on ship scrapping. The second session of the JWG expressed the view that stakeholders should study the document in order to seek information which would assist them in their implementation of the three sets of guidelines. The report is contained as Annex 2 to document OEWG5/2/Add.1 (E, C, F, S)

Developing short and medium term measures

  • Submission from the United Kingdom: Provides information on the activities undertaken by the United Kingdom with a view to improve global standards in ship recycling.
  • Submission from Poland: Provides information on the legislative and practical means by which Poland regulates ship dismantling activities.
  • Submission from Peru: Provides an explanation of the means by which the Government of Peru addresses ship recycling activities at the national level.

Pre-cleaning and decontamination

  • IMO Guidelines for the Development of the Ship Recycling Plan: The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), at its fifty-second session (October 2004), approved the following guidelines, which provides technical information and guidance for the preparation of ships for dismantling. (E, F, S)
  • Submission from the United Kingdom : Describes a method, which has been employed by the United Kingdom, for pre-cleaning a vessel intended for sea-bed placement.
  • Submission from Poland: Provides information on precleaning and decontamination of ships bound for dismantling in Poland.

Gas-free-for-hot-work certification

  • IMO recommendations & guidance on “Gas-free-for-hot-work-certification” during ship recycling operations: The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the IMO, at its fifty-third session (July 2005), issued MEPC Circular nr. 466 containing recommendations & guidance on “gas-free-for-hot-work-certification” during ship recycling operations (E, F, S)

Industry codes and contracts

  • ICS Industry Code of Practice on Ship Recycling: Developed in 2001 by an Industry Working Party, established under the co-ordination of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
  • ICS Inventory of Potentially Hazardous Materials on Board: Recommended inventory form which is annexed to the ICS Industry Code (2001).
  • BIMCO Standard Contract for the Sale of Vessels for Demolition and Recycling (DEMOLISHCON 2003): The Baltic and International Maritime Council's (BIMCO) Standard Contract for the Sale of Vessels for Demolition and Recycling (codename DEMOLISHCON). Anyone contemplating the sale of a vessel for dismantling is recommended to use DEMOLISHCON as a basis for negotiation, as it takes relevant safety, health and environmental considerations into account. DEMOLISHCON was last revised in 2003, in order to incorporate references to the IMO Guidelines on ship recycling. (Standard Contract; Explanatory Notes)

Practical manuals

National policies

  • Draft UK Ship Recycling Strategy: The UK’s national ship recycling strategy, developed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). (English and other translations available at:
  • Submission from Peru: Provides information on the legislative framework under which the Government of Peru regulates ship recycling at the national level.


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