From Marine Propulsion. Published on March 9, 2016.

IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) could enter into force with no further flag state ratifications, IMO’s secretariat has confirmed to BWTT.

In a break from its normal procedures, it is now updating its database of flag state fleets every month, instead of at the end of each year. As a result, it is possible that – due to the normal daily variations in flag state tonnages – the percentage covered by states that have ratified the BWMC could pass the 35 per cent threshold as a result of an end-month reappraisal of its existing parties.

One observer commented to BWTT that, with the BWMC’s shortfall now so low, “the general ebb and flow of flag states’ tonnage could drift it over the line.” Asked to confirm that this is a possibility, an IMO secretariat spokeswoman said: “potentially and theoretically, yes.”