Managing cost, digitalization and environmental regulations are some of the key challenges shipping will have to encounter in the next 5-10 years, industry experts said on the sidelines of the latest SAFETY4SEA Athens Forum, which took place in Eugenides Foundation on 2 October.
Amendments to an international treaty aiming to prevent the spread of potentially invasive species in ships’ ballast water entered into force on 13 October 2019. The amendments set out an implementation schedule to make sure that ships manage their ballast water to meet a specified standard (D-2 standard).
Singapore flagged vessels should bare in mind recent MPA Singapore circulars, regarding the commissioning testing of ballast water management systems (BWMS) and the incorporation of contingency measures into ballast water management plans (BWMP).
Since steel-ships were introduced to shipping, water has been used as ballast to stabilize vessels at sea. However, ballast water can contain organisms, which when transferred, are able to establish a reproductive population, thus becoming invasive. For this reason, IMO has established the “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments”, mandating the implementation of ballast water management plan and ballast water treatment system on board ships.
The IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention entered into force in 2017, but at that time it applied only to new ships. Now, as the North P&I Club informs, a new milestone is upon us, as from 8 September 2019, the Convention applies to existing vessels.
After 15 years, the BWM Convention is coming into full effect from this September. At the same time, across the Atlantic, important developments have also been taking place in relation to the USCG’s BWM regulation. The UK Club issued a Legal Briefing, summarizing some of the more significant developments associated to the two regulations.
Between 8 Sep 2019 and Sep 2024, the BWM Convention will reach the second phase of its implementation where all ships will have to conform to the D-2 standard. In other words, after 15 years, the Ballast Water Management Convention is coming into full effect from this September since all ships must be fitted with D-2-compliant ballast water treatment system by the next IOPP renewal survey but not later than 8 September 2024.
In regard to the difficulties found in conducting a safe and efficient ballast water exchange in the waters between China and South Korea, the two countries have agreed on exemption of ballast water exchange requirements for international ships sailing between these two regions.
The 74th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) took place on 13-17 May at IMO headquarters in London, with key environmental subjects on its agenda, aimed at supporting the IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships and the implementation of 2020 sulphur cap among others.
The Belgian Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport, which is responsible for shipping, has selected Chelsea Technologies to provide benchmark portable testing for compliance with ballast water standards. This move comes after Belgium decided to start testing vessels calling at its ports and terminals to make sure they can demonstrate compliance with the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.
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