As was mooted by officials yesterday, Finland has signed the IMO’s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWMC), which will enter into force in 12 months’ time on September 8, 2017.
IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim said the signing was a “truly significant milestone for the health of our planet”.
“The spread of invasive species has been recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet. These species are causing enormous damage to biodiversity and the valuable natural riches of the earth upon which we depend. Invasive species also cause direct and indirect health effects and the damage to the environment is often irreversible,” Lim said in a release.
Finland accounts for 0.14% of the world’s gross tonnage, which has taken the convention over the 35% threshold required for the policy to enter into force. Previously, the BWMC had 50 signatories representing 34.87% of the world’s gross tonnage.
Finland’s instrument of acceptance to the BWMC was handed to the IMO secretary-general today by Her Excellency Päivi Luostarinen, Finland’s permanent representative to the UN organisation.
Panama also looks likely to ratify the BWMC “within the next one to two months”, the International Chamber of Shipping’s technical director Jonathan Spremulli said in a presentation to the annual ICS conference in London on Wednesday.
The BWMC was adopted by the IMO in 2004.