After nearly two months of uncertainty it is now clear the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention will not be coming into force in 2016.
The convention requires for ratification by states controlling a combined 35% of the global fleet by tonnage, however, it has now been found that despite Morocco, Indonesia and Ghana ratifying last November the threshold has not been reached.
After tonnage figures for Indonesia were verified by IHS Maritime & Trade it was found that the 47 countries that have ratified the convention control 34.56% of the global fleet by tonnage. Had the 35% threshold been reached the convention would have come into force on 24 November 2016, this will now not happen, and it will not come into force until at least 2017.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “The recent ratifications have brought the BWM Convention so very close to entry into force. While we cannot predict exactly when that will happen, I would urge countries that have not done so to ratify the BWM Convention as soon as possible so that we can establish a certain date for entry into force, and also so that it is widely accepted when it does.
“In particular, those countries with large merchant fleets that have not done so, are requested to accelerate their processes to ratify the convention.”
The convention will likely be ratified later in the year as the world’s largest flag-state Panama has started the accession process, although this will take several months. Finland had been expected to ratify the convention last November but as yet has not done so.
The BWM Convention will come into force one year after it reaches the required level of ratification.
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