AMSTERDAM: International Maritime Organization has hailed the revised stance of shipping country on the issue of ballast water under the presidency of IMO General Secretary Mr Sekimiz.
Mr Sekimizu expressed his wish that governments of member states, and in particular those with a large merchant shipping tonnage under their flag, should take action to ratify the BWM Convention as soon as possible., IMO said in its press release.
IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has welcomed the reconsideration by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) of its position towards the ratification by Governments of theInternational Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention).
In its press release ICS stated that it will “no longer actively discourage those governments that have not yet done so from ratifying the Convention, in order that it might enter into force sooner rather than later so that amendments to the Convention, which the industry has requested, can then be adopted and implemented by governments as soon as possible.”
During their meeting, Mr Sekimizu expressed his wish that Governments, and in particular those with a large merchant shipping tonnage under their flag, should take action to ratify the BWM Convention as soon as possible. Currently, only a further 2.46 per cent of world tonnage is required to trigger its entry into force, which in turn would open up the possibility to amend the Convention. Mr. Morooka and Mr Sekimizu agreed to encourage IMO Member Governments to start thinking how the requirements of the Convention could be improved, taking into account the experience gained and in order to formally reflect in the Convention those measures agreed by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee in October 2014 (MEPC 67)* and the revised implementation schedule adopted by IMO Assembly
“IMO Member States have a responsibility to ratify IMO Conventions. At this moment, with 43 States having already ratified the BWM Convention, it must be stated that the responsibility of States holding a large amount of tonnage in their registry is of paramount importance, because, without their ratifications, the Convention will not come into force in the foreseeable future. In spite of my request at the beginning of this year, under the theme of ‘IMO conventions: effective implementation’, no State holding tonnage of more than 2.5 per cent in its registry has ratified the BWM Convention this year.
He concluded, “I recognise that the position of ICS has had a considerable influence over the decisions of IMO Member States during the last two years and, with the change of position of ICS triggered by the resolution adopted at the latest MEPC, I now sincerely hope that those States holding tonnage of more than 2.5 per cent will also change their position and take swift actions to ratify the BWM Convention as soon as possible, so that we can make real progress in dealing with the problems of invasive species through ballast water on which IMO has spent enormous amounts of time, energy and serious effort in order to protect the marine environment over the last two decades.”