Spain and Brazil sign Ballast Water Convention

Spain and Brazil have become the first countries to sign, subject to ratification, the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004. The Ballast Water Convention was adopted on 13 February 2004 and opened for signature on 1 June 2004. It will remain open until May 2005.  

The Convention itself can only enter into force 12 months after the date on which not less than thirty States, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than 35% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping, ratify it. 

Before the requirements of the Convention can be fully implemented, however, there is still a great deal of work to be completed on the 13 sets of Guidelines which accompany the Convention. INTERTANKO is involved in the drafting of a number of the Guidelines and will participate at the next Ballast Water Working Group meeting in July.  

During the Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting in July 2005 (MEPC 53) a critical aspect of the Convention will be dealt with. This involves a review of the state of current treatment technology and the ability of this technology to meet the requirements set forth in the Convention. The outcome of this review will determine whether or not the standards and deadlines in the Convention can be met in practice by the industry. 

INTERTANKO will continue to follow this issue and will report on developments in the Weekly NEWS. 

Contact: Tim Wilkins