BWM CONVENTION: IMPENDING RATIFICATION BY FINLAND AND LIKELY IMPLICATIONS IN RELATIONS TO THE ENTRY INTO THE FORCE OF THE CONVENTION

The UK Chamber of Shipping has been informed by reliable sources that on Thursday 8 September 2016 Finland, with a merchant fleet estimated to constitute 0.13% to 0.14% of the world’s combined merchant shipping gross tonnage, intends to lodge with the IMO its documents of accession to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC)).

Currently 51 States have ratified the BWMC, the combined merchant fleets of which represent 34.87% of the world’s combined merchant shipping gross tonnage. In order for the criteria to be met and the BWMC to come into force 12 months later, ratification is required by not less than 30 States, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than 35% of the world’s combined merchant shipping gross tonnage.

It can therefore be seen that if Finland does lodge its documents of accession with the IMO next week, it is most likely (subject to final confirmation of tonnage figures by the IMO) that the BWMC entry into force criteria will have been met, with a total of 52 States having ratified the Convention with combined merchant fleets constituting between 35 and 35.1% of the world’s merchant shipping gross tonnage. This being the case the BWMC will enter into force 12 months later, on 8 September 2017.

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