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Ballast water treatment

IMO convention comes into effect in 2017

From 8 September 2017, ship owners will have to meet strict requirements in treating ballast water. Finland provided the 52nd signature, securing approval for the “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediment”.

The convention required the signatures of at least 30 countries totaling a tonnage of at least 35 percent of the world’s merchant fleet. Finland’s participation brings that figure up to 35.14 percent.

Once the treaty has come into effect, ship owners will have to treat ballast water according to the D2 standard before releasing it into the sea. Failure to comply may result in penalties. Furthermore, almost every ship in the global merchant fleet will have to operate a ballast management system.

For ship owners, this will mean extensive upgrades. As it stands, less than ten percent of the world’s merchant fleet is equipped with the necessary technology.

One country that has not signed the convention is the US, whose coast guard has its own, more demanding regulations.