Article from PortNews

 

Bright outlook for the Ballast Water Management Convention

The Ballast Water Management Convention is now one step closer to ratification following last weeks meeting of United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The Ballast Water Management Convention was one of the agenda items at last weeks IMO meeting.

The Ballast Water Management Convention is from 2004, and Denmark ratified it several years ago. The Convention stipulates requirements for the management of ships ballast water before discharging it into the sea in order to avoid the spread of so-called invasive species.

At last weeks meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee, there was great interest in the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention. The entry into force date got considerably closer with the recent ratification of the Convention by both Japan and Turkey. At present, 43 countries, or 32.54 per cent of the world tonnage, have ratified the Convention. The entry into force requirement is, however, 35 per cent of the world tonnage.

Following intense debate, the Marine Environment Protection Committee decided to meet the concerns expressed by ship owners. By means of a resolution, the Committee established that front runners are not to be punished for having invested quite early in innovative ballast water management systems that may not meet all the requirements for such systems once the Convention takes effect. In addition, it was also agreed that the guidelines for type approvals of ballast water management systems (the so-called G8 guidelines) are to be revised instantly.