Having been actively involved in the IMO Globallast Programme from its inception, INTERTANKO participated and gave a presentation at the 3rd Global Project Task Force (GPTF) meeting held in Goa, India, last week.

With coverage from all the national and local press in India, the meeting illustrated the growing concern over this issue and highlighted even further the need for the IMO and the international maritime sector to ensure that the concerns are answered with internationally harmonised action.

In addition to the members of IMO’s Ballast Water Project Co-ordinating Unit (PCU), the meeting drew participants from all the six participating nations (Brazil, China, India, Iran, South Africa and Ukraine) as well as IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee Chairman, Mike Julian. Each participating State gave presentations on the progress made by their authorities with respect to the application of the IMO’s Guidelines on the minimization of transferring alien species (Resolution A.868). Whilst a great deal of the ballast water project has focused on the environmental aspect of the problem and the gathering of biological data, attention was also focused on the legislative and compliance aspects of this issue.

One of the primary functions of the Globallast Programme is to facilitate the implementation of the IMO Guidelines in developing nations and also to smooth the path for implementation of an International Convention. INTERTANKO stressed the importance of ensuring that any requirements made by these and other states would be in line with an international approach. One particular example is the need for states to harmonise their approach in the gathering of information from ships calling at their ports. The INTERTANKO delegate also suggested that greater use should be made of the IMO Standard Reporting Form, which would avoid the need for masters and shipping companies to negotiate several different types of forms.

A number of other key issues were raised at the meeting which will effect the shipping community once the Convention enters into force. INTERTANKO drew attention to the harmonisation of any port state sampling or inspection procedures. This aspect should be kept to a minimum and a reliance on ballast water certification should be the first step towards compliance verification as opposed to unnecessary testing of ballast water.

For more information on the Globallast Programme see

Click here to download the IMO standard ballast water reporting form

Contact: Tim Wilkins