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International Ballast Water Management Convention Closer to Ratification

International Ballast Water Management Convention Closer to Ratification

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The international Ballast Water Management Convention is now one step closer to ratification following the United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting last week.

The convention, from 2004, which was ratified by Denmark several years ago, was one of the IMO meeting's agenda items.

The Ballast Water Management Convention requires ships to manage their ballast water before discharging it into the sea, thus avoiding the spread of 'invasive' species.

The concept of putting the convention into force was met by plenty of interest at the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting.

The date of enforcement edged closer with the recent convention ratification by Japan and Turkey. 43 countries (32.54% of the world tonnage) have ratified the convention already. The enforcement requirement is, however, 35% of the world tonnage.

After much debate, the committee agreed to meet the concerns of front-running ship-owners that were worried that their early ballast management systems investments would not meet the requirements of future systems, as outlined by the convention. It was also agreed that the typre approval / G8 guidelines for ballast water management systems be revised immediately.