Governments attending the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in October have made real progress towards agreeing solutions to major issues that have previously impeded ratification of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention, says the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the global trade association for ship operators.
Speaking at IMO headquarters, ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, remarked, “We are very pleased that IMO Member States have fully acknowledged the shipping industry’s concerns by agreeing to start work immediately on a revision of the G8 type-approval guidelines to make the process for approving ballast water treatment equipment more robust. In the meantime, it has also been agreed, in principle, that any shipowner that has invested in first generation treatment equipment, type-approved under the current G8 guidelines, should not be penalized, provided that the equipment is operated and maintained correctly. The adoption by IMO of new Port State Control guidelines reflecting a fair and pragmatic approach to inspection is also an important additional step.”
Mr Hinchliffe added “While some of the details still need to be finalised by the MEPC next year, an MEPC Resolution adopted at this meeting should do much to build confidence in the Convention amongst both shipowners and IMO Member States.”