New Zealand Accedes to Ballast Water Convention

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By MarEx 2017-01-11 19:08:47

New Zealand has acceded to the Ballast Water Management Convention scheduled to enter into force on September 8, 2017.

Lockwood Smith, High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters on January 9 to deposit the instrument of accession.

The accession brings the number of states party to the convention to 54, representing 53.30 percent of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage.

Currently when vessels enter New Zealand, ballast water must have been exchanged with mid-ocean water, or otherwise treated to kill or remove organisms. The convention will effectively require ships to treat their ballast water with a type approved system before discharging it with the aim of reducing the risk of transferring marine invasive species. 

Additionally, New Zealand has new rules on hull biofouling that will become mandatory in May 2018. The rules stipulate requirements for all vessels arriving in New Zealand to have a clean hull. The requirements can be met by:

•    cleaning the vessel hull before arrival in New Zealand (less than 30 days before arrival)
•    doing continual maintenance on the hull 
•    treating organisms on the hull (for example, with heat or chemicals) to kill them or make them sterile.

The majority of marine invasive species in New Zealand are considered to be introduced by biofouling rather than ballast water.

More information is available here.