Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Disgrace Of Governments As They Dither Over Shipping Pollution

Lloyds Register Ready On Ballast Water even as Politicians Drag their Feet
Shipping News Feature

UK – After the utter disgrace that all within the industry should feel as international politicians prevaricate over the general question of marine pollution from freight and passenger ships alike, one part of the problem has been studied and acted on by London based Lloyds Register which has issued guidance notes to help ship-owners and operators who are preparing to install ballast-water treatment systems on their vessels.

Anyone who doubts the seriousness of this particular problem should read our previous article outlining the guidance formerly offered by the register and highlighting just how calamitous the situation can become when an alien infestation is introduced in this manner. In 2004 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) presented the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) to regulate the discharges of ballast water and reduce the risk of introducing non-native species to the world's waterways.

The new guidance, developed to complement the Lloyd’s Register Ballast Water Treatment Technology Guide, reflects the current status of the regulations proposed and provides vessel owners and operators with recommendations that will help them to prepare their ships, ensuring they remain compliant.

Once ratified by at least 30 states (the combined merchant fleet of which must constitute at least 35% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping fleet)the convention will require ballast-water treatment to be used instead of ballast-water exchanges. This requirement will be phased in and the BWM Convention will apply to all ships trading internationally that carry ballast water, with a few exceptions and in accordance with specific territorial requirements.

Full details of conditions and exceptions can be found at the relevant Lloyds Register website page HERE.