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Ballast water management (BWM) convention to enter into force in sep 2017

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) will enter into force on 8 September 2017. The convention stipulates that it will enter into force 12 months after ratification by a minimum of 30 States, representing 35% of world merchant shipping tonnage. Finland ratified this convention on 8th september 2016 to make the total gross tonnage to 35.1 percent and contracting parties to 52. So, after 12 months from this date, this convention will come into force on 8th september 2017.

This convention deals with halting the spread of invasive aquatic species, which can cause havoc for local ecosystems, affect biodiversity and lead to substantial economic loss. Under the Convention's terms, ships will be required to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within bal'iast water and sediments

The BWM Convention was adopted in 2004 by the lnternational Maritime Organization (lMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for developing global standards for ship safety and security and for the protection of the marine environment and the atmosphere from any harmful impacts of shipping.

From 8 September 2017, all ships of 400gt and above will be required to have onboard
- An approved Ballast Water Management plan
- A Ballast Water Record Book.
- All ships fitted with Ballast water treatment systems must have a type approval certificate in compliance with the IMO Guidelines for the approval of ballast water management systems
- An International Ballast Water Management Certificate or statement of compliance.

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