Amendments to BWTS fitting requirements accepted

The proposal to delay the requirements for fitting ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) on existing vessels until 2019 was accepted at Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 71, reports North P&I Club. Amendments were approved to regulation B-3, which revise the installation schedule for new and existing vessels.

· New vessels (keel laid on or after September 8th 2017) will have to install BWTS on delivery.

· Existing vessels which completed IOPP renewal survey between September 8th 2014 and September 8th 2017 will have to install BWTS at the first IOPP renewal survey on or after September 8th.

· Existing vessels other than the above will have to install BWTS at whichever occurs first of (a) the first IOPP renewal survey on or after September 8th 2019 or (b) the second IOPP renewal survey on or after September 8th 2017.

· Existing vessels not required to have an IOPP certificate (tankers of less than 150 gt except oil tankers, which are less than 400 gt) must install BWTS no later than September 8th 2024.

· The start date for new vessels (i.e. constructed on or after September 8th 2017) remains unchanged under the proposal.

North P&I reported in May that the IMO Ballast Water Convention would enter into force on September 8th 2017. However, a number of administrations (Brazil, India, Cook Islands, Norway, UK and Liberia) sponsored a proposal to IMO that could delay the requirements for fitting BWTS on existing vessels until 2019.

There were extensive exchanges of view on the proposed timescale during MEPC 70 in October 2016 and a proposal was left on the table for further discussion at MEPC 71, held in June 2017. The amendment effectively postpones the start date of the phasing-in programme for installing approved ballast water treatment systems on existing ships by two years.

The co-sponsors said that the proposal was a fair and balanced solution to the concerns raised on the previously agreed timescale for implementation which helps both the shipping industry and treatment plant manufacturers and installers. http://www.nepia.com/insights/industry-news/ballast-water-convention-%E2%80%93-postponement-for-existing-vessels/