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Thursday, September 20, 2018


Further progress on the development of a legal instrument for the prevention of the transfer of alien species in ballast water has been made this week at the IMO’s MEPC meeting in London.

Two specific issues have been addressed alongside the continual improvement of the draft legislation. Firstly, the Working Group on Ballast Water has extensively discussed the merits of ballast water exchange at sea with regard to both safety and its effectiveness after submission of a paper by INTERTANKO highlighting the environmental problems that this may cause. As a result it is likely that the legislation will now steer away from mandatory ballast exchange at sea and suggest that a management or treatment system be used – hence allowing for the development of alternative treatment techniques. 

Secondly, focus was placed upon the development of a standard to which the ballast water should be treated. How this standard will be measured has yet to be decided but the options are being kept open regarding the system that ships are to use and more focus is being placed on the performance standard of the equipment. The final report is due to be given at the end of the MEPC meeting on Friday afternoon.

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