IMO urged to back BWM installation extension

19 Jun 2017

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has urged the IMO to back a proposal seeking a two-year extension to the installation timeframe for ballast water treatment systems.

The call, ahead of next month’s meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, supports a proposal (from Brazil, Cook Islands, India, Norway, Liberia and the UK) to change the installation deadline for the Ballast Water Management Convention, due to enter force on 8 September. The proposal would change the deadline for ships to install systems from the date of their first International Oil Pollution and Prevention (IOPP) survey after the convention’s entry into force to the first IOPP survey after 8 September 2019 – effectively adding two years to the global installation process, which would then be completed by 2024 rather than 2022.

The extension is intended to allow for new systems, approved under the updated G8 guidelines on testing and type approval, to come to market. ICS insists there is no logic, from an environmental protection standpoint, in requiring thousands of ships in the existing fleet to comply until they can be fitted with systems that have been approved under the more stringent type-approval standards which were only adopted by IMO in 2016.

Peter Hinchcliffe, secretary general, ICS, said: “It is vital that IMO makes a definite decision about the implementation schedule at its meeting in July so that shipping companies have absolute clarity and can take sensible decisions about when to install these high-cost systems in the best interests of the environment.”