MEPC 56 - update on ballast water management

Last week we reported on the developments at the IMO's Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 56) while awaiting final confirmation on some of the key issues which were still being discussed as we went to press.


Being unable to reach a final conclusion on issues tended to be a theme on some of the leading environmental discussions undertaken during the week. In a somewhat frustrating discussion relating to the implementation dates of the Ballast Water Convention, the Committee agreed that a delay should be implemented but could not agree on the legal basis for establishing such a delay either through the Convention or through national legislation.


The details of this 'delay in principle' have therefore been deferred to the next meeting in April 2008. Meanwhile, the industry is left with a verbal agreement by the Member States but with no firm basis on which to make sound commercial decisions prior to the current 1 January 2009 deadline.


A more practical development during the week stemmed from the release of a study conducted by researchers and commissioned by Lloyd's Register. Noting the diverse and scattered information available on ballast treatment systems on the market, LR had undertaken an independent assessment of the treatment technology market. The result was a concise and practical 28-page document, which we would recommend downloading (click here).


Contact: Tim Wilkins