One option is to apply for an early renewal of the International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) certificate. Some flag states, including Germany, have already approved this approach. By doing this, ship operators can gain up to five years extra time to install IMO compliant ballast water treatment systems. It is advisable to contact your flag state in good time to clarify the situation concerning your own vessels.
As part of the IMO, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), is holding a meeting in May to address concerns over the current uncertain situation. It is possible that the entry date of the new convention could be postponed or that individual vessels will be granted exemptions. However, this remains to be seen.
Stay tuned to Engineering at Sea for updates.