It is believed that Finland, representing 0.14% or world tonnage, “will ratify as early as tomorrow,” ICS technical director Jonathan Spremulli said.
With the tonnage of states already having ratified BWM standing just 0.13% short of the required 35% total, Finland’s ratification would automatically trigger adoption of the Convention, it is understood.
Adoption will bring to a close a saga lasting almost a year where the 35% threshold remained tantalisingly close. A false alarm occurred last November when Morocco’s ratification was thought to have reached the threshold, only for recalculation of different flag states’ tonnage totals by IMO’s data provider to eventually show this this was not so. Other countries like St Lucia and Peru have since followed, but still without breaching the 35% mark.
IMO has since moved to monthly re-calculation of flag states’ totals, leading to its confidence that this time the count will be accurate.
In any event Panama, representing 20% of world tonnage, is expected to ratify in “one to two months”, Spremulli informed, meaning the entry into force of the BWM Convention in late 2017 seems assured.