Ballast water management an obstacle for international shippers

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A report issued Friday by the International Chamber of Shipping has indicated industry concerns of ballast water management between international and U.S. standards that could be costly or impossible to follow.

The concerns arise as a convention that will put forth regulation measures for Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS). The U.S. already has regulations in place and requires that all BWMS be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Under the convention, 54 systems have been approved. However, only 17 manufacturers have stated an intent to submit to USCG testing.

During a roundtable meeting with the Baltic and International Maritime Council, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Intertanko and Intercargo they discussed the potential challenges and issues that may come from the approval of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) from the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

"The safest way to avoid it is to ensure that there are sufficient USCG approved BWMS available on the market before the IMO Convention enters into force," the release said. "This also implies that national BWMS manufacturers should be encouraged to apply for U.S. approval; the low rate of application raises serious concerns over confidence in the operational capability of equipment that is already being sold."

According to the report installations of an authorized BWMS can range from $1 million to $5 million per vessel.

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