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Ballast Water

Photo: IMO


The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (Ballast Water Convention) entered into force on 8th September, 2017.

Involving new regulations and the fitting and operation of equipment that had previously not been used on ships, the implementation of the Convention has, unsurprisingly, led to a number of challenges.

These 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

INTERCARGO has co-sponsored a number of papers to IMO on the Convention Review, in particular on challenging water quality.  It is hoped these ongoing discussions at the IMO will also  play a part in solving some of the other ballast water management issues faced by ship operators.

It is also important that we have an  holistic approach to regulation. . Shipping is on a journey  to decarbonise, which in the short term to mid-term will mean finding efficiencies and, ultimately, using less power. However, regulations such as the Ballast Water Management Convention effectively require vessels to use more power and thus produce more emissions,  meaning that one environmental regulation can potentially have  a negative effect on another. The regulators should recognise the consequences of all regulations and how they may impact each other.


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