In advance of next week’s meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has suggested a number of steps by which IMO Member States might address implementation problems associated with the Ballast Water Management Convention, which has yet to enter into force.
As previously highlighted in a submission to the MEPC (made by ICS in conjunction with other international shipowner organisations), the implementation problems which ICS urgently seeks to address include the lack of robustness of the current IMO type-approval process for new treatment equipment, and the criteria to be used for sampling ballast water during Port State Control inspections.
ICS believes that the legal changes needed to make the ballast regime fit for purpose are relatively straight forward and could be agreed in principle quickly by IMO Member States. ICS has therefore suggested that the MEPC might agree a ‘road map’ using the mechanism of an MEPC Resolution which – if agreed – could make it easier for additional IMO Member States to decide to ratify the Convention.
“If so decided, this Resolution would provide greater confidence for owners and operators installing treatment equipment, and could help end the current impasse.” said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.
The new ICS Position Paper, prepared by the ICS Board of Directors, is being communicated to maritime administrations by ICS’s member national shipowners’ associations.
ICS, March 27, 2014