IHS FAIRPLAY

Danish Maritime Days 2016

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Fairplay.IHS.com | October 2016 | 21 ↘ The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediment was adopted by the IMO in London, the day before Valentine's Day in 2004. It has been so unloved by shipowners around the world that it took 14 years for the stipulations for entry to force to be met: 12 months after at least 30 states with combined merchant fleets representing at least 35% of world merchant shipping gross tonnage, signed up. That 12-month period began on 8 September this year. However, it is to be wondered how many states now have reservations about acceptance. Speaking at SMM, Arsenio Dominguez, chairman of IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee, let slip, "We are learning from the mistakes of ballast water." And given the piles of dossiers now on his desk – the revision of EEDI, whether to drive for a new sulphur limit in 2020, and how to align IMO to meet the terms of the Paris climate change agreement – the last thing Dominguez needs is a phalanx of flag states armed with detailed research. One proposal to MEPC concludes that global dockyard capacity is likely to fall well short of peak demand for retrofitting ballast water management systems in 2020. Moreover, several states are concerned that ballast water systems will not be robust enough to meet the required standard. Early movers that installed systems in accordance with what they thought would be approved guidelines are unlikely to be penalised. Nevertheless, port states are expected to require ships to discharge ballast water that complies with the standard. Common sense will be needed. Although dockyard capacity could fail to meet anticipated demand in 2020, it will be stretched in 2017, 2018, and especially 2019 as well. The uncertainty introduced by the non-availability of ballast water management systems approved for use in United States waters just adds to the mix. The proposal suggests a better way is for MEPC to agree a phased implementation, combined with a robust discussion about how the convention's requirements can be met. The issue of harmful aquatic organisms isn't going away but there is the sense that this was top of the IMO's agenda a generation ago. We have reached the stage of working out how to solve one of yesterday's problems. The underlying issue is probably more concerning: the ballast water convention was drawn up because states were offered a choice between a grandly set out global solution or a series of regional solutions that revealed, frankly, that it's hard to get unanimous agreement on anything. Dominguez, the permanent representative to IMO from Panama, has a long track record of playing the maritime diplomat. This might be his toughest test. Shutterstock A new proposal for ballast water carriers'cost-benefitcalculations."Thedifference inoperating14,000teuand19,000teushipsisnot thatgreat;theslotcostisnotmuchlowerbutyou havetospendmoreoninfrastructureorspend longerinport,"heexplained."Aretherealsavings thatgreatwhenconsideringthetotalpackage?" Jansenbelievesthat,inthelongrun,Hapag-Lloyd willalsoinvestinmega-ships,"althoughnotthat many.Doesthecustomerinsistonhiscargogoing ona14,000teuor18,000teuship?Ofcoursenot.So whyinvestinthingsthatdon'tbringtheend-to-end costdown?"heaskedTPMdelegatesrhetorically –andhiscompetitorsdirectly. 'This will be a long and painful path to recovery for container shipping. The industry should expect a wave of consolidation to change what has become an unsustainable business' 'MEPC is leaning from the mistakes of ballast water' Shutterstock FAIRPLAY Industry insight

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