IMO to review ballast water management


As proposed by INTERTANKO and its industry partners, the international maritime organisation (IMO) has agreed to commence a review of the ballast water management system (BWMS) type approval guidelines.

At the same time, the IMO also agreed not to penalise owners that have already installed BWMS that are approved in accordance with the current approval guidelines.

The agreement, which will be issued as an IMO MEPC Resolution, comes after an effort by INTERTANKO and its industry partners to address key challenges associated with the implementation of the IMO's Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC).

"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," commented INTERTANKO.

"It is also important that the agreement to revise the type approval guidelines was taken together with the agreement to not penalise those owners that have already installed type approved BWMS," continued the organiation.

"The principle established at the meeting was to protect the early-movers of the IMO's Ballast Water Management Convention. However, there remains some uncertainty about how the protection will actually be devised. The term 'grandfathering' was not used in the final MEPC Resolution and instead the member States requested the IMO Secretariat to provide legal advice on the appropriate legal action for this agreement."

INTERTANKO and the industry will maintain active roles in the IMO Correspondence Group established to undertake the review of the type approval guidelines.

A total of 43 countries comprising approximately 32.5 per cent of the world's tonnage have now ratified the BWMC.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World