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Environmental pollution from shipbreaking industry : international law and national legal response

Georgetown University Law Center
Publication Date
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Law


The international legal regime on shipbreaking is in its formative years. At the international level, the shipbreaking industry is partially governed by the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. However, how far this convention will be applicable for all aspects of transboundary movement of end-of-life ships is still, at least in the view of some scholars, a debatable issue. Against this backdrop, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted a new, legally binding convention for shipbreaking. There is a rising voice from the developing countries that the convention is likely to impose more obligations on recycling facilities in the developing countries than on shipowners from rich nations. This may be identified as a clear derogation from the globally recognized international environmental law principle of common but differentiated treatment. This article will examine in detail major international conventions regulating transboundary movement and environmentally sound disposal of obsolete ships, as well as the corresponding laws of Bangladesh for implementing these conventions in the domestic arena. Moreover this article will examine in detail the recently adopted IMO Ship Recycling Convention.

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