The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (Ballast Water Convention) entered into force on the 8th September 2017 and as anticipated by INTERCARGO, has not been without its challenges.
Environmental protection is and always has been acknowledged by INTERCARGO as fundamental to shipping. However, regulation, in addition to having safety and the environmentas the top priorities, should always ensure that shipping operations can continue in an efficient manner without affecting the industry’s duty to global trade.
The implementation challenges of the Convention especially relate to the performance of ballast water treatment systems, the operating conditions and locations of vessels, and the global coverage of technical support for the systems involved. It is important to note that while ships are certified for global trade, many of the available systems are not certified or able to perform in all locations and conditions that vessels may trade in, and this is particularly true for the bulk carrier fleet. It is hoped that the current IMO Experience Building Phase related to the Convention will bring these challenges to the foreground and that the regulators will act accordingly.
INTERCARGO is currently working with various stakeholders, including the treatment system manufacturers, with the aim of providing solutions to some of the issues that are affecting the bulk carrier fleet.