Ballast Water Convention gains first signatories
Spain and Brazil have become the first states to sign the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004.
On Tuesday 18 January 2005, His Excellency Mr. Carlos Miranda, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Spain to the International Maritime Organization signed the Convention, subject to ratification, on behalf of the Government of Spain.
And on Tuesday 25 January 2005, Admiral Sergio Gitirana Florencio Chagasteles, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the International Maritime Organization signed the Convention, again subject to ratification, on behalf of the Government of Brazil.
The Ballast Water Convention contains measures to prevent the potentially devastating effects of the spread of harmful aquatic organisms carried by ships' ballast water. It will require all ships to implement a Ballast Water and Sediments Management Plan, to carry a Ballast Water Record Book and to carry out ballast water management procedures to a given standard. Existing ships will be required to do the same, but after a phase-in period.
The Convention was adopted on 13 February 2004 by the International Conference on Ballast Water Management for Ships, 2004, which was held at the Headquarters of IMO from 9-13 February 2004. It opened for signature at IMO on 1 June 2004 and will remain open for signature until 31 May 2005.
It will enter into force 12 months after the date on which not less than thirty States, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than thirty-five percent of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping, have either signed it without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval or have deposited the requisite instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession in accordance with article 17 of the Convention.
IMO - the International
Maritime Organization - is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility
for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution