Esben Poulsson, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has called for shipowners, equipment manufacturers and governments to collectively spend US$ 100 billion to ensure that new ballast water regulations are successful.
The trade association for merchant shipowners and operators has called for industry-wide co-operation in welcoming the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention so it can deliver the best environmental benefits possible after coming into force on September 8, 2017.
In a statement, Poulsson (pictured below) said: “The industry may collectively need to spend around 100 billion US dollars in order to install the new ballast water treatment systems that will be required by law. We therefore have to get this right.
“We need to ensure, as far as practicable, that the systems installed on ships will indeed be fit for purpose in all known operating conditions worldwide.
“We are therefore advising shipping companies that they should make it clear to equipment manufacturers they will only consider fitting treatment systems which have been certified in accordance with the revised IMO type-approval standards adopted in 2016, even though this is not yet a mandatory requirement.”
ICS said that the IMO’s decision to adjust the implementation dates of the Convention in July for existing ships constructed before September 8, 2017, will not be required to install treatment systems until the date of their first International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) renewal survey after September 8, 2019.
Poulsson added: “We acknowledge the pragmatic approach to implementation taken by IMO Member States who accepted the arguments made by ICS and other industry associations that there is little logic, from an environmental protection standpoint, in requiring thousands of ships to comply until they can be fitted with systems that have been approved under the more stringent standards.
“Shipowners must make full use of this additional time to identify and invest in far more robust technology to the benefit of the environment.
“In view of the significant concessions that IMO has now made in response to the industry’s representations, shipping companies should not anticipate any further relaxation to the implementation schedule.”