IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention receives boost as Carribean shows commitment

Kitack Lim, Secretary General, IMO

​The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) says four more countries have become party to IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, designed to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships’ ballast water.
The Convention enters into force on 8 September 2017 and will require ships to manage their ballast water, which can contain thousands of aquatic or marine microbes, plants and organisms, which are then carried across the globe.
According to IMO, The Bahamas deposited its instrument of accession on Thursday (8 June), following accession by Singapore (8 June), ratification by Australia (7 June) and accession by United Arab Emirates (6 June). Saudi Arabia became a Party in April. This brings the number of States party to the BWM Convention to 59, representing 65.18 % of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage.
In accordance with article 18 of the Convention, the Convention will enter into force on 8 September 2017 for these 59 States; for States depositing their instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession after 8 June 2017, the Convention will enter into force three months after the date of deposit of instrument.
However, the Caribbean Region is renewing regional coordination to help implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention and thereby minimize the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water at a workshop in Panama City, Panama.
Topics discussed at the workshop include ways for moving ratification and implementation forward throughout the region; exchanging information; a revised regional strategic action plan; reestablishment of a regional task force; and lessons learned from the GloBallast project – set up to help implement the Convention.

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