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Live From Posidonia 2016
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Monthly re-calculating of tonnage requirements for the ballast water convention

The challenges surrounding the adoption of ballast water management systems have not really changed but several subtle differences and the best way of dealing with the changes were highlighted by Intertanko deputy md Joe Angelo, the keynote speaker at the Newsfront/Naftiliaki Ballast Water Management Summit 2016.

Speaking at the event, Angelo noted that the IMO is now re-calculating the tonnage requirements for ratification of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) convention on a monthly basis. The most recent figures for June indicate that the percentage of the world's gross tonnage that would be included for the ratification was at 34.83%.

While this figure does not seem like much of a change from the previous one, said Angelo, the key point is that two countries that are "extremely close" to ratifying are Peru and Finland, which have 0.04% and 0.14% of gross tonnage respectively.

This would just about tip the balance giving a total of 35.01% if it happens, Angelo highlighted. "If this happens the way IMO thinks it will, both of those countries are expected to ratify the treaty some time this month, which means it could very well come into force one year from June," Angelo warned.

Given these variables, Angelo suggested that a sensible course of action for shipowners would be to firstly research all the ballast water management system manufacturers. And the available technologies appropriate for their vessels, as well as secure shipyard slot availability for when you might most likely need it for the installation process and start scheduling ahead of time.

The next step would be to go to the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and request and extension from their earlier timeframe implementation programme before waiting and monitoring when the 35% level is actually breached. At this point the strategy would be to go to the flag state to issue a new certificate and then wait for the right system to be approved by the USCG before finally installing it, Angelo recommended.

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