Eastern, Southern Africa Join BWM Convention Workshop

Eastern, Southern Africa Join BWM Convention Workshop

Countries from the Eastern and Southern Africa region participated in a workshop on the compliance, monitoring and enforcement of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention).

According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), officials from the 15 countries attended the workshop located in the United Republic of Tanzania.

The countries present in the workshop were: Angola, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.

From the list of countries, only Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Seychelles, and South Africa have ratified the convention while the rest are said to be at “different stages of ratification and legislation.”

The organization emphasized that the Convention is “designed to protect the marine environment from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water carried by ships.”

It noted that since 2017, ships are required to manage their ballast water to protect the aquatic organisms and pathogens by being “removed or rendered harmless before the water is released into a new location.”

In Dar es Salaam, the event took place from December 12 to 14. Participants were able to discuss in detail the roles and responsibilities of a flag, port, and coastal State in relation to compliance with the Convention's D-1 and D-2 standards for dumping ballast water.

The IMO said that the workshop also raised awareness on the content of the Convention as well as its important guidelines. Moreover, attendees received step-by-step procedures in order to assist their respective countries in the “full ratification, domestication and implementation of the treaty.”

The event was part of the IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Program (ITCP) and was hosted by the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) with the support of the Ministry of Works and Transport, United Republic of Tanzania.

The BWM Convention or the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments is a treaty adopted by the organization to “help prevent the spread of potentially harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships' ballast water.”

The Convention was entered into force globally on Sept. 8, 2017 and applies to all ships registered under contracting parties to the BWM Convention.
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