IMO falls at final ballast hurdle
The IMO has confirmed today the result of the recount was NOT sufficient to bring the ballast convention into force. After Morocco, Indonesia and Ghana ratified at the Council session in November it was believed that the trigger point of 35% may have been achieved but after recounting it seems that combined fleet of the 47 signatories amount to just 34.56% of global tonnage. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “The recent ratifications have brought the BWM Convention so very close to entry into force. While we cannot predict exactly when that will happen, I would urge countries that have not done so to ratify the BWM Convention as soon as possible so that we can establish a certain date for entry into force, and also so that it is widely accepted when it does. In particular, those countries with large merchant fleets that have not done so, are requested to accelerate their processes to ratify the Convention.” As reported earlier this week Panama is reportedly in the process of enacting legislation to allow signing but nothing can be considered certain. Finland and India are also rumoured to be close to signing. Shipowners have been encouraged to install the necessary equipment and establish operational procedures in accordance with IMO regulations and standards, so that the BWM Convention can be implemented rapidly and effectively upon entry into force. Amendments to the Convention, to be implemented after it enters into force, will be considered at the next meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee, in April, 2016.