Organizations: Shipowners could be squeezed on ballast water

A week before the IMO environmental committee is to discuss ballast water, organizations warn that an approval of the convention could force shipowners to make large investments in systems that are not guaranteed US approval. A big dilemma, they say.

Ballast Water System from the Danish supplier Desmi Ocean Guard.

Numerous shipping organizations and carrier associations gathered in the so-called Round Table of International Shipping (RT), which includes Bimco, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Intercargo and Intertanko, warn in a statement against what they call a premature approval of international regulations of vessels' ballast water through the IMO's ballast water convention. The warning comes one week before the IMO environmental committee is set to meet in London, where ballast water will presumably feature prominently on the agenda.

The organizations believe that the convention will soon reach the number of member nations needed to ratify the convention, which could therefore take effect in 2016. Even though it has taken the industry many years to reach a ratification, it is still too early, according to the organizations, because it could force shipowners to invest huge amounts in ballast water systems that are not guaranteed full type approval from the US Coast Guard (USCG).

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