Belgium has ratified the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, becoming the latest country having done so. Although the number of countries stands at 48 in total with the gross tonnage of 34.82 %, which is still not enough for the convention’s entering into force.
The convention adopted in 2004 is scheduled to enter into force 12 months after passing the required gross tonnage threshold of 35% and ratification by 30 states. Under the BWM convention, all ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard.
In addition, by depositing its instrument of accession also to the Hong Kong Ship Recycling Convention, Belgium became the fourth contracting state. The convention will enter into force 24 months after 15 states become party to the treaty, representing not less than 40% of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage. The combined maximum annual ship recycling volume of those countries must constitute not less than 3% of their combined merchant shipping tonnage during the next 10 years.
Kitack Lim, International Maritime Organization’s Secretary-General, encouraged other states that had not already done so, to ratify both treaties in order to bring them into force.