The world is a step closer today to tackling one of the most serious threats to the ocean environment, the spread of invasive organisms via the ballast water systems of merchant vessels.
During the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 67) meeting today at the IMO, His Excellency Mr. Abdurrahman Bilgiç, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the International Maritime Organization ratified the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention 2004, bringing the number of Contracting States to 43 countries, representing approximately 32.54% of world merchant shipping tonnage.
Once 35% of global tonnage has ratified the convention, it will then enter into force 12 months from that point. From then on, all ships would be required to have type-approved ballast water treatment systems installed aboard.
For ships that enter U.S. waters however, ballast water treatment systems are already required, as noted by 46 CFR Part 162.