IMO Assembly delays enforcement of the Ballast Water Management Convention

he 25th session of the IMO Assembly agreed and adopted by consensus an Assembly Resolution regarding the enforcement of the Ballast Water Management Convention. Although the Convention has only been ratified by 10 Member States and has not yet entered into force, the Assembly was concerned that the lack of suitable ballast water treatment systems might cause severe difficulties within the industry.


After extensive negotiations between Member States and the industry, including INTERTANKO, the Assembly agreed on the following compromise:


"A ship subject to regulation B-3.3* constructed in 2009 will not be required to comply with regulation D-2** until its second annual survey, but no later than 31 December 2011."


* B-3.3 – Ships with less than 5000M3 Ballast Water Capacity


** D-2 - Ballast Water Treatment systems approved by the Administration which treat ballast water to an efficacy of:


o        not more than 10 viable organisms per m3 >50 micrometers in minimum dimension, and


o        not more than 10 viable organisms per millilitre <50 micrometers in minimum dimension and >10 micrometers in minimum dimension.


The Assembly also instructed the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) to keep the Resolution under review and to further discuss the issue for ships constructed in 2010, which are subject to regulation B-3.3, and the availability of technology for these ships.


The successful adoption of this Assembly Resolution demonstrates the IMO's flexibility and ability to cooperate with all stakeholders.


Under Reg B-3.1, a ship constructed before 2009 should undertake ballast water exchange as per the requirement in Reg D-1 until 2014 or 2016, depending upon its ballast water capacity, after which date, equipment will have to be installed in order to comply with the ballast water treatment standard contained in regulation D-2.


Contact: Tim Wilkins, Joe Angelo or Fredrik Larsson