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This study provides an in-depth analysis of the Hong Kong Ship Recycling Convention as adopted in May 2009 and a thorough analysis of the overall status quo of ship recycling regulations. It investigates the lack of sufficient ratifications of the Convention from both a legal and an economic perspective. The first part of the study focuses on the history of the Convention’s entry-into-force provision and the rationale behind it. Due to the fact that this provision provides a considerable additional obstacle to the Convention’s becoming legally binding, in the second part the focus of the work shifts to unilateral action in this field. An overview of the legal environment of European ship recycling legislation is followed by an analysis and evaluation of a number of proposals by the European Commission attempting to tackle the problems of current ship recycling procedures. With a particular emphasis on (planned) European measures in this regard, the analysis’ overall message is one of cautious optimism.