Focus on port state authorities as well as ship owners at Ballast Water Conference, London

INTERTANKO’s Environmental Manager, Tim Wilkins, spoke in London this week at a Ballast Water Conference focusing on the implementation of the new IMO Ballast Water Guidelines. He focused on the role of the ship owner in complying with the international requirements but also stressed the importance of ensuring that the treatment developers and port state authorities also fulfil their responsibilities in implementing the Ballast Water Convention and its Guidelines.  

Wilkins emphasised the need for confidence that the treatment systems will actually fulfil their function on board, an approach targeting the many treatment system developers present. He also stressed the importance of gaining the confidence of the port state authorities as well as that of the shipping industry itself. Using the USCG’s approach on oily water separator equipment as an example of how the authorities will not accept IMO, class or flag state approval alone, he demonstrated how the ship owner needs to be certain that the equipment which has been fitted to treat ballast water not only does the job it is intended to do, but that there is also a clear method, in which port state authorities can be confident, of demonstrating that the equipment has indeed functioned as intended. 

The reality of the situation is in focusing on what the shipping industry must comply with today, and not on compliance after an unspecified entry-into-force date, said Wilkins. Using examples from Brazil, Argentina and the U.S., he demonstrated that the Convention and Guidelines were not aimed exclusively at ship owners and at the treatment system industry, but that the port states have an obligation to familiarise themselves with this legislation and to use it as the basis for their national requirements. In an ideal world, these states would be ratifying the International Convention and implementing this legislation directly into national law. 

Wilkins’ presentation can be viewed on the INTERTANKO web site at: http://www.intertanko.com/about/presentations/ 

Contact: Tim Wilkins