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Two-year delay for Ballast Water Management Convention

Some vessels could have up to September 2024 to install BWM systems

SHIPOWNERS will have at least two more years to comply with the Ballast Water Management Convention after the International Maritime Organization yielded to overwhelming demand for an extension just two months before the convention's entry into force.


The Marine Environment Protection Committee 71, the IMO’s decision-making body on environmental pollution regulation, officially signed off on the amendments on Friday, after the plenary expressed its support for the amendment earlier in the week.


Although the convention will come into force on September 8, 2017, under the latest amendments, vessels already built will have to install a ballast water management system by their first International Oil Pollution Prevention renewal survey after September 8, 2019. Some vessels will have up to September 2024 to install BWM systems as this survey takes place every five years. Vessels whose construction begins on or after September 8, 2017 will have to be delivered with a BWM system.


The extension was largely expected after Japan prioritised the need for a timeline emerging from this MEPC over adhering to the existing plan. Japan, which made the original convention part of its national law and now faces the task of amending it, warned that an extension would undermine IMO credibility and harm early adopters of BWM systems.


The resolution adopted also reaffirmed the agreement made at MEPC 68 not to penalise early adopters of BWM systems.

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