13 years since Convention has been adopted in 2004.
3 months till Convention enters into force.
3 days till IMO MEPC.71 meeting which may or may not extend the implementation time line. In any case it will be interesting meeting. I am looking forward to attending MEPC.71 as part of the Canadian delegation.
IMO Ballast Water Convention is ratified and will enter into force on 8th of September 2017. It is a fact, and there will be no coming back.
It has been long journey: over 40 different Guidelines, Circulars and Resolutions pertaining to the implementation of IMO BWM Convention have been developed. 69 BWTS have received IMO Type Approval Certificate. Thousands of BWTS have been fitted and hundreds have been in operation, some since 2009.
Here are two simple steps Shipowner need to take to get ready.
After Convention enters in force, all vessels must comply with ballast water discharge standard D-1 (ballast water exchange).
Prior to 8th of September 2017 a vessel must:
- Implement an Approved Ballast Water Management Plan
- Implement and maintain a Ballast Water Record Book
- Order an Initial Class Survey and
- Receive an International Ballast Water Certificate (D-1)
After Convention enters into force and on IOPP Certificate renewal, all existing vessels must comply with D-2 standard (ballast water treatment).
In order to comply with D-2 Shipowner must:
- Choose IMO Approved Ballast Water Treatment system
- Complete an engineering retrofit design
- Request Class Plan Approval
- Carry out a retrofit
- Request a Class Acceptance Survey and
- Receive an International Ballast Water Certificate (D-2)
Maritime industry has a considerable experience with installation and operation of various Ballast Water Treatment Systems. This experience has prompted several proposals to postpone the implementation deadline which will be discussed on 3rd to 7th July, 2017 at MEPC.71.
- MEPC/71/12 - Proposal by Brazil , Cook Islands, India, Liberia, Norway and UK
- Ships constructed on or after 8 September 2017 shall comply on delivery
- For existing ships, link to IOPP retained with up to two years delay depending on IOPP renewal date. It means, all ships compliant by 8 September 2024.
- MEPC/71/17 – Proposal by China to support previous MEPC.70 proposal with flat 2 years delay.
- MEPC/71/19- Intercargo and Intermanager propose an exemption for top side tanks of bulk carriers.
- MEPC/71/28-Submission by Japan does not support any delays in principle – but ships without IOPP certificate (i.e < 400 GT) to be compliant by 8 September 2024.
- MEPC/71/30- Greece supports proposal by Brazil at all. and adds two years for new builds.
In order to change the existing schedule qualified 2/3 majority vote is required.
Many Shipowners have decided to not wait for the outcome of MEPC.71. They have planned for a retrofit according to the original schedule or have arranged to de-couple the IOPP Certificate and therefore postpone a retrofit for another five years.
Many have taken advantage of buyer’s market and secured supply of BWTS and engineering services for future retrofits. Albion Marine Solutions is busy with inquiries regarding our optimized Shipboard Survey / 3D Scan and “turn key” retrofit engineering package.