With Belgium recently becoming the fourthyeight signatory Party, the Ballast Water Management Convention, 2004 has now almost gained sufficient ratification to come into force, and would clearly do so in 2017.

The Convention is set to come into force one year after thirty States representing 35% of the global fleet have ratified it. With a number of States having indicated their intention to ratify the Convention, the remaining 0.18% tonnage which is still required for the Convention to enter into force will not be difficult to meet within the next one or two months, necessitating compliance with the provisions of the Convention by the shipping industry when the Convention would come into force in 2017.

IMO Resolution A. 1088 (28) allows existing ships until the time of the first renewal of their International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) Certificate after the Convention enters into force to have a ballast water treatment system installed on board and the next few years are expected to see the installation of a high number of such systems on board ships.

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