IMO agrees to industry push for ballast water convention review

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Intertanko have praised IMO’s decision to implement a more stringent type-approval procedure for Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) agreed at the Meeting of the Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) 67.

The revision to the G8 guidelines will dramatically reduce the likelihood of type-approved BWM installations being found non-compliant with Port State Control (PSC) testing.

MEPC 67 further agreed in principle that first-generation, type-approved BWMS should be “grandfathered” for the life of the ship, ensuring that early adopters would not be penalised, and a new set of guidelines for PSC inspections have also been agreed.

“We are very pleased that IMO member states have fully acknowledged the shipping industry’s concerns,” said ICS secretary general Peter Hinchliffe. “While some of the details still need to be finalised by the MEPC next year, an MEPC Resolution adopted at this meeting should do much to build confidence in the Convention amongst both shipowners and IMO Member States.”

Intertanko said in a statement, “The agreement to review and eventually revise the type approval guidelines should mean that future BWMS brought onto the market and approved by a more robust approval procedure will give owners greater confidence that once purchased and installed, a type approved BWMS will meet the ballast discharge standard.”

ICS and Intertanko had been joined Bimco, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), Intercargo, Interferry, InterManager, International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA), International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), International Union of Maritime Insurers (IUMI), the Nautical Institute and the World Shipping Council, in pushing for the review of the convention.

During the MEPC meeting, Turkey became the 43rd nation to ratify the BWM Convention, following Japan in the previous week.