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IMO sec-gen deeply concerned over slow ratification of BWM Convention

IMO sec-gen deeply concerned over slow ratification of BWM Convention
IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu says he is deeply concerned over the “disappointingly slow” rate of ratifications for the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.

In his address to the MEPC 68 meeting this week he noted that since the MEPC 67 meeting last October there had been two further ratifications with the 44 countries representing 32.8% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage.

“Once this Convention is activated, we can handle all issues related to its implementation under the IMO System – that is the Ballast Water Management Convention.  Forty-four Member Governments are waiting for the entry into force of the BWM Convention to protect their waters,” Sekimizu stated.

“Let me stress once again: MEPC 67 adopted the resolution to significantly reduce the burden on shipowners with regard to existing vessels in the initial phase of implementation. This resolution must be implemented, but this cannot be done unless the convention comes into force.”

Sekimizu took issue with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) for not encouraging governments to ratify the convention, having asked ICS chairman Masamichi Morooka to do so last December.

“I understand that ICS is still not encouraging Governments to ratify the Convention, but if anybody who wants to promote the global regulations of IMO, why can they not promote ratification of the BWM Convention?”

On a positive note Sekimizu did say that he had been informed several countries were making progress on the national ratification improving the prospects of the 35% threshold being met in the near future.