China, South Korea Hammer Out Ballast Water Exchange Deal

Ballast Water ManagementSource: Flickr – under the CC BY 2.0 license; Image by: International Maritime Organization

International ships flying a Republic of Korea flag or a Chinese five-star flag and sailing between China and South Korea will no longer be required to conduct ballast water exchange, according to shipping association BIMCO.

Taking into account the difficulties found in carrying out a safe and efficient ballast water exchange in the waters between China and South Korea, the maritime safety administration of China has issued a notice exempting such ships from conducting ballast water exchange in accordance with the ballast water management (BWM) convention regulation B-4.1 and D-1.

BIMCO pointed out that this notice applies where conducting a ballast water exchange in accordance with regulations B-4.1 and D-1 is not possible.

To meet exemption criteria the water depth of the sailing route of the ships should be less than 50 meters or the sailing route distance should be less than 100 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline of the destination port in China.

The exemption runs from June 1, 2019 to September 7, 2024, according to BIMCO. By this date, almost of all the merchant fleet is expected to move to meeting the requirements of regulation D-2 of the BWM convention and there would be no need for conducting ballast water exchanges unless in exceptional circumstances.

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