Following the spate of ratifications in November 2015 of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, IMO and partner IHS Maritime & Trade have been engaged in a process to verify tonnage figures to ascertain whether or not the convention’s final entry-into-force requirement has been met.
Although that process is not yet complete, and will continue for up to three more weeks, IMO is in a position to confirm that the November ratifications did not trigger the convention’s entry into force.
Forty-seven countries have now ratified the convention, substantially more than the 30 required, but their combined fleets comprise, at most, 34.56 per cent of global tonnage, with 35 per cent required for entry into force.
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.”
Shipowners have been encouraged to install the necessary equipment and establish operational procedures in accordance with IMO regulations and standards, so that the BWM Convention can be implemented rapidly and effectively upon entry into force. Amendments to the Convention, to be implemented after it enters into force, will be considered at the next meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee, in April, 2016.