Ballast count going backwards?

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

03 May 2016


It remains to be seen if Peru will actually ratify the ballast convention after it was widely – but erroneously - reported at the MEPC in late April. But for the 49 countries that have actually appended their signatures, April does not look like being a month in which their cause will be advanced. At the MEPC meeting it was announced that the percentage of the world fleet covered by ratifying countries had slipped slightly from the 34.82% announced in February to 34.79%. Earlier the IMO had said it would be recalculating the figures on a monthly basis to take account of new deliveries and scrappings along with changes of flag. ShipInsight’s sources suggest that for April the figures may have dipped again with the non-ratifying states claiming 67.25% of all new deliveries and accounting for just of 58% of all scrappings. The ratifying states on the other hand have actually suffered a net fall in the gross tonnage under their combined flags falling by a little over 100,000gt as scrappings outpaced new deliveries. Figures can be wrong of course and with the final day of April falling on a weekend, it may be that some ships were initially missed off the ShipInsight count. We await the IMO’s new figure with interest. If Peru does ratify, the gross tonnage of its fleet will go a long way to offsetting the advantage gained by new deliveries to the non-ratifying states in April but the Peruvian fleet is comprised numerically mostly by fishing vessels although under the definition of ‘vessels’ in the ballast convention wording these would count along with the country’s merchant ships.