Marina, the self-styled name for the Philippines Maritime Industry Authority, has set out rules and regulations for the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments to ensure that all ships plying Philippine waters are compliant with the Ballast Water Management Convention
The publication of the rules on compliance with International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention) is part of a wider mission tasked to Marina, which is to promote cleaner seas through sustainable and responsible maritime practices, and to implement effective measures to minimise the uptake and subsequent discharge of sediments and organisms, which may be invasive and eventually destroy indigenous marine ecosystems.
The provisions outlined in the Circular (MC No. SR-2020-05) apply to vessels capable of carrying ballast water and those authorised to operate in international waters.
Some ships are exempt from the regulations: those vessels operating exclusively in waters under the Philippines’ jurisdiction, operating under the authority of regional agreements, pleasure crafts less than 50 m in overall length, and ships engaged in search and rescue operations.
MC No. SR-2020-05 requires all ships trading in Philippine waters to carry the International Ballast Water Management Certificate (IBWMC) for ships plying the flag of countries party to the Convention.
Ships are also required to have an approved Ballast Water Management Plan and a Ballast Record Book on board.
An IBWMC will be issued after the Administration conducts a ballast water management survey for newly constructed ships or when there is a request for an exemption from the Circular. Ballast water management surveys will also be conducted for existing vessels installing a ballast water treatment system.
An IBWMC will be valid five years from the date of issue and will continue to be valid only when it has undergone an annual endorsement by Marina or its recognised organisations. A new certificate will have to be issued if an IBWMC has not been endorsed after three months of its anniversary date.
Marina is also tasked to undertake random and periodic inspections of Philippine-overseas registered ships calling any Philippine ports to ensure that all are compliant with the regulations provided by MC No. SR-2020-05.
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