Marshall Islands Supports Five-Year Trial Period for BWMC

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Registry said that it will support proposals under which the shipowners would be granted a five-year trial period to comply with the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC).

Although having ratified the BWMC, the registry recognized the difficulties and possible complications caused by its introduction, both in the implementation process as well as commercially.

In the light of this fact and by reference to the BWMC requirements, the RMI said that its main position on the implementation of the BWMC is the harmonization of all processes required “in order for all relevant parties to smoothly and safely adapt to the new requirements.”

Namely, the RMI said that it would “support proposals for bringing revised Guidelines for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8) in line with the United States (US) Environmental Technology Verification (ETV), so that a system approved for the US Coast Guard (USCG) can be approved for the BWMC, and vice-versa.”

As currently drafted, the proposed amendment to the BWMC is linked to the renewal survey associated with the IOPP Certificate. Therefore, if this is the actual amendment, then the early renewal of the IOPP Certificate “will allow five years from the point of renewal for Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) installation.” RMI said.

The registry added that it considers the trial period, which will commence at entry into force of the BWMC, “as vital to ensuring the implementation is practical, it does not penalize ships that installed BWMS in good faith and continues to maintain and operate these in line with the manufacturer’s guidance.”

RMI Registry revealed its position ahead of International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee’s (MEPC’s) 70th Session, scheduled to be held in London October 24-28, 2016.