ICS ends opposition to ballast water convention after IMO progress

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) will no longer actively discourage the ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention, since the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) agreed to address industry concerns over the regulation.

The move by ICS is aimed at bringing forward ratification and entry into force of BWMC, so that amendments to it can be adopted and implemented as soon as possible.

While the association backed the need to prevent the spread of invasive species, it had specific concerns with the implementation of the convention. Those concerns include the process by which ballast water management systems are approved as compliant with the convention, the method of assessing compliance during port state control inspections and protecting early adopters that have already invested in ballast water treatment technology in good faith.

“The significant change of ICS’s position signals recognition of the real progress made by IMO member states towards agreeing solutions to those major issues that have previously impeded ratification of the convention,” ICS stated in a press release.

Despite its change of position, the association stressed that its move does not signal that the convention’s problems have been solved.

“Many of the details of the MEPC Resolution agreed in October still need to be finalised by IMO as a matter of urgency if the convention is to be implemented smoothly and fairly. ICS and its members will continue to press IMO member states strongly on these issues in the year ahead,” ICS said.

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