The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) welcomes the news that the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention enters into force on 8 September 2017, and has produced a 12-point information sheet on the Convention for its members. The BWM Convention aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water. It was Finland’s accession on 8 September this year that triggered the entry into force of the Convention in a year’s time.
Under the Convention’s terms, ships will be required to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments.
“This is a significant environmental development, which provides certainty with regard to a definite implementation date,” says IMCA’s Technical Director, Richard Benzie.
“IMCA and its industry partners have expressed concerns that type approval procedures for ballast water management systems need to be practical and that flag and port state administrations must be capable of implementing the requirements of the Convention. This is something that IMO Member States will consider in October, during the next session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection committee (MEPC 70). At this session, all parties need to finalise the G8 Type Approval Guidelines in order to facilitate a workable implementation of the BWM Convention.”
The 12-point information note (IMCAM 09/16) covers:
- · What is the Ballast Water Management Convention?
- · When will the Convention enter force?
- · Will it affect me?
- · Will I have grandfather rights for existing chips?
- · How much time do I have?
- · What will I need to do?
- · Do I need to fit a ballast water treatment system to all of my ships?
- · Does a ballast water treatment system need to be approved?
- · Will there be any surveys or inspections?
- · What else do I need to know about selecting and installing a ballast water treatment system?
- · My ship is American or operates in United States of America waters, do I need to know anything else?
- · What should I do next? – with six useful answers