The International Association of Independent Tanker
Owners, or Intertanko, have come up with a standard procedure on how
port-states should respond when a tanker’s ballast water management system is
not working and plans to submit the procedure to the International Maritime
Organization, Intertanko ,director Tim Wilkins told S&P Global Platts
Thursday 29 March 2018.
IMO has asked the port-states to deal with such
situations on a case-by-case basis; but, Intertanko has favoured a uniform
approach since it would make shipping industry more efficient. Moreover, its
approach gives importance to transparency and operational efficiency while
dealing with difficult situations.
“A lot of time
is being used to fix these systems…what we are trying to do is have an industry
standard that the member states of IMO can accept in a more practical and
operational way,” Wilkins said.
Intertanko has drawn up nine contingency measures,
among which include fixing the BWM system at the ballast loading port, fixing
the system enroute to the port, performing a mid-ocean ballast water exchange,
or retain ballast water onboard.
Intertanko says it will require its members to show
port authorities why the system failed, provide a history of the maintenance of
the system, and whether efforts have been made to liaise with manufacturers on
getting the system fixed.
“That way there’s transparency when we go to all the
ports in the world,” Wilkins said.
to IMO,Ballast water may be taken onboard by ships for stability and can
contain thousands of aquatic or marine microbes, plants and animals, which are
then carried across the globe. Untreated ballast water released at the ship’s
destination could potentially introduce a new invasive marine species.
Hundreds of such invasions have already taken place, sometimes with
devastating consequences for the local ecosystem.
The International Convention for the Control and Management of
Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) was adopted in 2004 to
introduce global regulations to control the transfer of potentially invasive
species. With the treaty now in force, ships need to manage their ballast
The International Maritime Organization’s Ballast
Water Management Convention came into force on September 8, 2017 with the aim
of mitigating this transfer.
Under the Convention, ships are required, according to
a timetable of implementation, to comply with the D1 or D2 standards.
The D1 standard requires ships to carry out a ballast
water exchange, and specifies the volume of water that must be replaced. This
standard involves exchanging the discharge water taken from the last port, with
new sea water. The exchange must occur at a minimum of 200 nautical miles from
The D2 standard is more stringent and requires the use
of an approved ballast water treatment system. The system must ensure that only
small levels of viable organisms remain left in water after treatment so as to
minimise the environmental impact of shipping.
New ships will be required to install and comply with
the D2 standard from September 8, 2017. Existing ships, which are subject to
the phased implementation schedule, have potentially, depending on the renewal
of their ship certificates, until September 8, 2024, by which time all ships
will comply with the D2 standard.