Danish Shipowners’ Association praises BWM Convention progress

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The Danish Shipowners’ Association views the handling of the ballast-water convention at the meeting of the IMO’s environment committee, the MEPC, last week with satisfaction.

The IMO’s environment committee, the MEPC, held its 67th meeting last week. One of the key points on the agenda was ballast water. The convention has now been ratified by 43 countries which together account for 32.54% of global tonnage.

This means that less than 2.5% acceptance is required for the convention to have achieved sufficient ratification to come into force, and several countries have already announced that they are on their way to ratifying the convention.

However, there are still a number of major challenges linked to the convention, and several of these were discussed at the meeting in London. The discussion about the robustness of the guidelines for type approval of equipment (G8) was pivotal. Agreement on tightening up the guidelines was achieved at the meeting, which means that the test requirements ahead of type approval of equipment were made more stringent. There was also agreement that a tightening-up must not result in those who have already invested in equipment being punished.

Another important topic was the possibility of exempting local shipping, which was raised at Denmark’s behest. Here the environment committee decided that there must be a discussion of the substance of the problem at the forthcoming meeting of the PPR sub-committee, which takes place on 19th-23rd January 2015.

“This is a very satisfactory result in terms of both G8 and the possibility of exemptions. In relation to the latter – where we have encountered a very restrictive approach from the authorities in our neighbouring countries – it is clear that a number of other countries have the same worries as the industry and the Danish authorities,” says Head of Secretariat Peter Olsen.