The countries that have signed represent more than 75% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage. According to the treaty, ships are required to manage their ballast water, which can contain thousands of aquatic or marine microbes, plants and organisms, which are then carried across the globe.

H.E. Mr. Yousef Ali Al-Khater, Ambassador of Qatar to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, on 8 February, to deposit the instrument of accession.