The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) held its 65th session from 13 to 17 May 2013.
One of the significant issues impacting new and existing ships was the revised implementation scheme of the Ballast Water Management. The Committee agreed to an Assembly resolution which, subject to adoption in December 2013, recommends that signatory States apply a modified scheme for compliance with the D-2 biological standard. The scheme is summarized below:
There are two major changes in the scheme:
• The spread of retrofitting of BW treatment systems to the existing vessels is now 5 years instead of 3.
• For the vessels built on or after 2012 (including all orders for new buildings), there is no need for implementation when the convention is ratified (i.e.: one year after EIF), but the implementation is transferred to the first renewal survey after EIF.
There are also major issues pending or being created:
• The harmonization with USCG time schedule. For example, a vessel with dry-docking within 2016 (simultaneously with intermediate survey), as per revised IMO time schedule is not required to install a ballast water treatment system, however, in order to comply with USCG time schedule, is obliged to install a ballast water treatment system.
• If owners decide not to install ballast treatment systems in their new building orders placed before the EIF date, then the systems will have to be retrofitted. This definitely affects the congestion of the retrofitting process and the cost of ballast water treatment installation.
We at ARGO NAVIS believe that the ship owners should continue their investigation for the selection of the proper system and to be well prepared for the retrofitting installation challenges.