• ITVI.USA
    14,270.140
    -77.460
    -0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.470
    0.090
    0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    14,258.910
    -85.130
    -0.6%
  • TLT.USA
    2.790
    0.030
    1.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.280
    -0.100
    -3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.460
    -0.040
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.990
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    -9.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.970
    0.010
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.650
    -0.300
    -10.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.490
    -0.200
    -7.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    14,270.140
    -77.460
    -0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.470
    0.090
    0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    14,258.910
    -85.130
    -0.6%
  • TLT.USA
    2.790
    0.030
    1.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.280
    -0.100
    -3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.460
    -0.040
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.990
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    -9.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.970
    0.010
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.650
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    -10.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.490
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  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

Finland signs onto IMO ballast treaty

The International Maritime Organization’s Ballast Water Management Convention now has enough vessel tonnage to bring the treaty into force, thanks to Finland signing onto the treaty.

   Finland has ratified the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention, bringing the number of countries to do so to 52 and enough vessel tonnage to bring the treaty into force.
   The convention’s ratification by Finland also meets the IMO requirement that 30 countries, representing 35 percent of the world’s merchant fleet, have also been met.
   The convention will now enter into force on Sept. 8, 2017. All ships constructed before that date will have to install a ballast water management system at their first renewal survey associated with the containers meeting held in London this week. All ships constructed after that date will have to install these systems upon delivery.
   Katharina Stanzel, INTERTANKO’s managing director, said the tanker vessel operators welcomed the ballast treaty’s ratification.
   “In practical terms, this development provides certainty for owners with a firm date now in place from which installation and dry docking schedules can be determined,” she said.
   Stanzel warned however that “this must be balanced against the fact that the IMO has yet to complete its work on reviewing and revising the G-8 type approval guidelines for ballast water management systems.”
   The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) agreed that it is now more important than ever that IMO member states finalize the revision of the G-8 Type Approval Guidelines for treatment systems at the next session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee this October.
   “We must ensure that shipowners can have absolute confidence that the expensive equipment they will soon have to install will be effective in treating ballast water conditions normally encountered during worldwide operations and be regarded as fully compliant during Port State Control inspections,” said ICS Chairman Esben Poulsson.
   Shipowners are also worried about the current lack of approval by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) of a ballast water management system for vessels. The United States is not a party to the IMO’s ballast water treaty.
  “This situation puts owners at the risk of having to install an IMO type approved system that may never achieve USCG type approval,” said Joe Angelo, INTERTANKO’s deputy managing director. “If the chosen system does not obtain USCG approval, it will have to be replaced within five years in order to continue to trade to the U.S.
   “A shipowner, who in good faith wants to comply with international and national ballast water management requirements, therefore faces an unacceptable position of having to possibly invest twice in a (ballast water management system) through no fault of his or her own,” he added.
   The U.S. ballast regulations, which were put in place January 2014, require all ships that discharge ballast water in U.S. waters to use a treatment system approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. “However, because no systems have yet been approved, ships already required to comply with the U.S. regulations have either been granted extensions to the dates for fitting the required treatment systems or else permitted to install a USCG accepted Alternate Management System (AMS), in practice a system type-approved in accordance with the current IMO Guidelines,” ICS explained.
   ICS warned that the U.S. Coast Guard does not guarantee that an AMS will be subsequently granted full approval. “Shipowners that may have installed an AMS in good faith, at a cost of between U.S. $1-5 million per ship, might then have to replace the system completely after only five years,” the organization said.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.