“The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, adopted in 2004 (BWM), comes into force on 8 September, establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ballast water and sediments of ships”, reads a release from The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP).
Accordingly, all ships engaged in international maritime transport must carry out their ballast and sediment water management in accordance with the provisions of that Convention. The AMP has been preparing its technical staff to implement the compliance of the document among ships registered under the national flag and has developed a web platform - www.segumar.com - for the approval and issuance of certificates.
As a result, the Panamanian Registry is the largest in comparison with the other registers, both in terms of registration numbers and gross registered tonnage (GRT).
Standards for ballast water management will be gradually introduced over a given period of time and as an interim solution, ships must exchange ballast water on the high seas. Most ships will need to install a ballast water treatment system on board.
Once the Convention has entered into force, all ships will be required to maintain a ballast water and sediment management plan, and the procedures described therein shall be implemented. In addition, all ships will have to carry a ballast water logbook and must apply ballast water management procedures in accordance with the rules of the Convention. Existing ships will be required to be fitted with a ballast water treatment system, but after a phasing-in period.
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