Ninety-eight per cent of world ship breaking (ship demolition) today is carried out in India, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Turkey. The 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal as well as Dutch, French, Turkish, Indian and British case-law consider decommissioned ships as waste. Due to limited effectiveness of the Basel Convention a new one has been adopted — the 2009 Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The Hong Kong Convention will enter into force when three conditions set out in its Article 17 are met; it means at least one leading ship breaking country must ratify it. The European Union is a leading proponent of signature of the Hong Kong Convention. Its ratification by the EU shall be a significant quantitative and political stimulus towards its entry into force. In order to encourage the ratification processes by EU member states, the European Parliament and the Council have adopted Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 of 20 November 2013 on ship recycling.
The concept of ecosystem services becomes more and more popular in regulation of the environmental protection. One of the premises of that concept is treatment of a human and human activity as an integral part of an ecosystem. Interrelations between human activity and ecosystem can be described through the concept of ecosystem services. A certain degree of commodification of natural environment which is immanently connected with the concept of ecosystem services can become useful as a tool of assessing the impact of human activities on ecosystem as well as regulating that impact. Marine protection law is a good example of attempts to introduce the interrelated concepts of ecosystem approach and ecosystem services into functioning of the regulatory schemes.
Maritime economy is one of the fields of economy of coastal states. The article tries to identify the legal framework of environmental maritime economy, as the environmental conditions influence and shape the maritime economy in acontemporary world. Environmental maritime economy is a consequence of coexistenceof three fields of law. Economic law, environmental law and maritime law. Those fields of law, which has been extracted from the body of law in an artificial way by using the objective criteria but still they are deeply interre-lated and the borders between them are blurred. Sustainable development principle is one of the main indicators of how the environmental maritime economy should function. Legal framework, international law, EU law and Polish internal law try to precise the exact meaning of sustainable development in the sphere of economic use of maritime resources. This is specially complicated as the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea is highly vulnerable and lots of environmental pressure is being putted on it. Successful implementation of environmental maritime economy should result in achieving prosperous economic activity that will be taking place in the environment of a good quality.