• ITVI.USA
    16,014.360
    14.660
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.006
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.430
    0.240
    1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,995.600
    10.280
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.930
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.620
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.330
    -0.040
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.570
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.390
    0.070
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.130
    0.020
    0.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,014.360
    14.660
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.006
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.430
    0.240
    1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,995.600
    10.280
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.930
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.620
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.330
    -0.040
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.570
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.390
    0.070
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.130
    0.020
    0.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

World Shipping Council sees ‘Ballast Water Conundrum’

WSC says shipowners face huge investment in technology that may not meet regulatory obligations.

   Chris Koch, president and chief executive officer of the World Shipping Council, says there is currently no globally accepted ballast water treatment technology that meets the ballast water treatment discharge standard created by the International Maritime Organization.
   In a speech to a Ballast Water Management Summit on Wednesday in Long Beach, Koch, who heads the chief trade organization for the liner shipping industry, said this means “vessel operators could face an enormous capital investment in treatment technology that may be insufficient to meet regulatory obligations.”
   Koch said “Estimates used at the IMO have projected that that there are roughly 62 thousand vessels (greater than 400 gross tons) that will need to install treatment technology under the IMO convention. If one assumes that the technology may cost $1 million to $2 million per ship, a capital investment of well over $60 billion will be required.
   “If the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention enters into force before U.S. type approved technology is commercially available and before the IMO’s equipment type approval guidelines are amended to address their recognized problems, vessel owners would face a legal obligation under the convention to install IMO type approved technology that may not reliably meet the convention’s discharge standard and that may not be acceptable in the U.S. trades.”
   Koch said “These shortcomings should be causing thoughtful governments that have not yet ratified the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention to pause before ratifying, because – what nation wants to be the one that causes the convention to come into force before these fundamental issues have been resolved? What nation wants to trigger a requirement on the industry to invest tens of billions of dollars in treatment technology if that investment does not offer the vessels certainty that they can trade anywhere in global commerce with regulatory confidence?”
   “What regulations that require this multi-billion investment should provide is certainty that the technology installed, if properly operated, will meet the vessel’s regulatory ballast water treatment obligation for the life of the vessel in any port that it calls. We are not there yet,” Koch said.
   Koch noted there are two principal legal regimes that are driving the ballast water issue.
   The IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, will enter into force one year after ratification by 30 or more member states that surpass 35 percent of the world’s merchant tonnage. He said currently, the number of ratifications now stands at 43 countries, representing 32.54 percent of the world’s tonnage. “In short, it will not take much in the way of additional ratifications for the convention to enter into force,” he observed.
   U.S. law is implemented by the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency – under two different statutes – and Koch said they have done a generally admirable job in coordination and in presenting a unified, consistent approach to the implementation of the U.S. regime.
   U.S. regulations will not recognize IMO type approved ballast water treatment technologies.
   But Koch added “As of today, however, no treatment system has received U.S.-type approval, which means that the regulatory trigger requiring installation of treatment technology for vessels in U.S. trades has not been pulled.”

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

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