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States rush to beat BWMC deadline

Fri 09 Jun 2017 by Paul Gunton

States rush to beat BWMC deadline
Eldred Bethel (right), high commissioner of the Bahamas to the UK, delivered its ratification to IMO secretary general Kitack Lim yesterday (credit: IMO)

Four states ratified IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) this week, apparently timed to beat a deadline set out in the convention’s entry-into-force criteria.

The Bahamas and Singapore deposited their instruments of accession yesterday (8 June), a day after Australia had ratified and two days after the United Arab Emirates had done the same, on Tuesday (6 June). They brought the number of states party to the BWMC to 59, representing 65.18 per cent of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage.

By ratifying by 8 June, the convention will enter into force for these states on 8 September, along with every other state that has ratified it so far. Article 18 of the convention, which addresses its entry into force, specifies that, for states that ratify the convention after its requirements for entry into force have been met but before its entry into force, their ratification “shall take effect on the date of entry into force of this convention or three months after the date of deposit of instrument, whichever is the later date.”

Most other conventions have similar clauses, in line with the UN’s Vienna Treaty, which sets out parameters for “any treaty which is the constituent instrument of an international organisation.”

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