Belgium brings ballast convention closer
Some three weeks ago ShipInsight reported that Belgium might soon be adding its signature to the IMO Ballast Convention. At that time we pointed out that Belgium’s 0.6% of the world fleet calculated at the time of the IMO’s recount, might well shrink because new additions to its flag were more than offset by other countries new deliveries. Yesterday the IMO announced that Belgium had signed and that the figure of the world fleet covered by ratifications is now at 34.82%. Just 0.18 short of the magic trigger point. Today, the IMO says a small island state will become the 49th state to sign but that is merely symbolic since the state apparently has a fleet so small that it will not increase the 34.82% figure at all. The IMO also told ShipInsight that, because of the drama surrounding the three ratifications in November last year, it had commissioned a monthly recount of figures of the world fleet so that when a new signature is added, there will be more confidence in the tally. The figures given yesterday by the IMO were apparently based on the February count. Another signature this month, could well mean the mountain has been conquered but if the next is in April, then all of March’s deliveries will need to be taken into account as will any scrappings and transfers of flag during the month. Thus figures can go up as well as down.