Norway to implement IMO Ballast Convention in 2007

Norway recently passed national legislation which will ensure that the IMO’s International Convention for the Control and Management for Ships’ Ballast Water will be implemented for ships entering Norwegian waters by the end of 2007. INTERTANKO welcomes this bold move by the Norwegian administration, which goes with the country’s formal ratification of the IMO’s Ballast Water Convention.

 

As per the Convention’s requirements, Norway intends to implement national regulations which will require ships to undertake ballast water exchange as per Regulations B-4 and D-1 of the Convention by the end of 2007. Ships will therefore be required to undertake ballast water exchange at least 200 nautical miles from the nearest land and in water at least 200metres in depth, a per the Guidelines developed by the organization (Resolution MEPC.124(53)). Click here for the full list of approved ballast water guidelines on INTERTANKO’s website. As well as treatment, all ships must also ensure the full implementation of a ballast water management plan which includes the ballast water record book.

 

INTERTANKO welcomes this move by Norway as a positive sign that the International Convention can be implemented effectively by individual states without the need for developing their own separate and differing requirements. Since the adoption of the Convention in 2004, a number of states and regions have proposed, developed and implemented requirements which are at best loosely based on the IMO Convention. INTERTANKO has previously voiced its concern relating to the proliferation of regional requirements which differ from those in the IMO’s Convention. With this move by Norway, INTERTANKO hopes that other states wishing to develop and implement ballast requirements for shipping will revert to using the already developed international standards. Ironically, we note that many of the states considering the implementation of national requirements which differ greatly from the IMO Convention were those that actively participated in the Convention’s development since 1993.

 

Norway joins some eight other states which have already ratified the Convention, namely Croatia, the Maldives, Nigeria, Poland, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Spain, the Syrian Arab Republic and Tuvalu. The Convention will only enter into force after it has been ratified by more than thirty states, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than thirty-five percent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping.

 

Contact: Tim Wilkins