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The Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention and places of refuge topped the agenda at the annual meeting of the Asian Shipowners Forum (ASF) In Tokyo this week.

IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu has made it clear that he wants to see the ratification of the growing list of conventions that have sat on its books for years but have never been implemented. Indeed the effective implementation of conventions is the theme for World Maritime Day 2014.

IMO chairman Koji Sekimizu has welcomed industry proposals for alterations to be made to the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, Intercargo, Intertanko, World Shipping Council (WSC), CLIA and IPTA have criticised “serious implementation problems” in the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention), following the closing of Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) session 66.

A survey of vessels by technical management company V.Group has revealed less than 2% of respondents have fitted Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS).

The ongoing impasse between industry leaders on the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention) continued this week, with it high on the agenda at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 66 meeting. The meeting opened with IMO secretary general Koji Sekimizu called the pace of ratifications “disappointingly slow” despite objections from industry bodies that the convention is unfit for purpose.

A ballast water treatment system (BWTS) that can also be used as a an inert gas system for cargo tanks, manufactured by N.E.I. Treatment Systems, is being fitted to a tanker in China and will undergo sea trials in March.

The IMO Assembly has adopted a resolution adjusting the implementation dates of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC).

With regulatory deadlines looming, the retrofitting of existing trading vessels maybe making more sense as solutions are developed using cleaner shipping technology, however, funding for retrofitting is presenting a challenge for shipowners and ship managers.

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