Finland will ratify the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) “within three weeks”, a senior officer at the Ministry of Transport and Communications has told BWTT. Although the country’s president Sauli Niinistö approved a proposal from parliament to ratify the convention on 17 June, the delay in progressing to ratification has been blamed on ‘internal administrative procedures’ and, last month, on Finland’s holiday season.
Laura Sarlin, senior officer at Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications, said “the Finnish holiday season is over and things are moving now.” Although she could not give an exact timetable, “our current estimation is that the instrument of acceptance can be submitted to the secretary-general within three weeks.”
Based on the current reported global tonnage data used by IMO, Finland’s 0.14 per cent of the world fleet would take the total tonnage covered by states that have ratified the BWMC to 35.01 per cent, triggering its entry into force a year later. But this is based on end-June fleet data, since IMO is no longer updating convention tonnages monthly. These will be updated when the next flag state ratifies. If that is Finland in mid-September, figures for end-August will be used and if tonnages in the other states that have ratified the BWMC have declined slightly, it may still not be enough to trigger its entry into force.
However, following yesterday’s confirmation that Panama is definitely moving towards ratification, “it seems inevitable that either Finland or Panama will push the convention over its 35 per cent threshold by the end of the year,” commented BWTT’s editor, Paul Gunton, today.