Australia has ratified the Ballast Water Management Convention, with Australia’s High Commissioner to Britain, Alexander Downer, signing the protocol in London this week.
Teresa Lloyd, CEO of industry body Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL), says Australian shipowners applaud the move. “The convention requires ships to have equipment to ‘treat’ ballast water so as to render it harmless. This technological progress has been a long time, coming and Australia’s ratification of the Convention, as announced today by the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, is commended by the industry - even though it comes at a hefty cost to install and operate,” says Lloyd. Compliance with the Convention represents a significant expense – approximately $1 to $5 million dollars per ship, she says.
Australia has had national controls in place for ballast water management since 2001. “The Australian Government and industry has shown tremendous leadership in this area for decades, and this convention being adopted globally adds strength to our existing control measures,” says Lloyd.
“The universal application through international agreements helps to avoid a situation where providing greater environmental protection produces a commercial disadvantage.”
55 other states have ratified the convention representing 53.67 percent of world tonnage. Most recently, Saudi Arabia ratified the convention in April and New Zealand in January.
Other states to have ratified are: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Congo, Cook Islands, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Niue, Norway, Palau, Panama, Peru, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey and Tuvalu.
The Convention will enter into force on September 8, 2017.