INTERTANKO welcomes the agreement reached this week by the IMO’s Member States in revising the implementation schedule for the Ballast Water Management Convention and urges all Governments to adhere to this new schedule.
The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) governing body, the Assembly, adopted a Resolution today in London that pins the application dates of the Ballast Water Management Convention to the entry into force date. This in effect makes all vessels constructed before the entry into force date ‘existing’ vessels, and allows for the installation of a ballast water management system (BWMS) on such vessels at the first renewal survey following entry into force. At present 38 countries representing 30.3% of the world’s registered tonnage have ratified the Convention. The Convention will enter into force 12 months after the ratification by more than 35 countries representing more than 35% of the world’s tonnage.
The adoption of this Assembly Resolution is a major step in making the implementation of the international Convention workable once it comes into force. In 2012, INTERTANKO had led the submission of a paper to the IMO’s Marine Environment and Protection Committee (MEPC), drawing the attention of the IMO’s Member States to potential problems of implementing the requirements of the Convention. Many of the implementation dates originally written in the Convention have already passed, and in particular the period for installation would be extremely short, with several thousand ships a year needing to install ballast water management systems. A proposal to review and revise the implementation schedule was provided in the INTERTANKO-led paper and accepted by the countries represented at the MEPC meeting.
INTERTANKO’s Managing Director, Ms. Katharina Stanzel, comments, “The Resolution provides the industry with a practical and clear implementation process and INTERTANKO urges all Member States to adhere to this new schedule.”
INTERTANKO’s Senior Manager – Environment, Tim Wilkins adds, “We welcome this very positive development and look forward to making sure the type approval process for ballast water management systems provides ship owners with reliable equipment.”