Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

IMO talks on ballast water management exemptions resume in May

The International Maritime Organization () has considered how to carry out exemptions and exceptions to the rules of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) during a meeting closing today. HELCOM has been actively working on regional aspects of the Convention for over a decade.This week’s meeting of the IMO Pollution Prevention and Response sub-committee (PPR) considered various proposals on the subject matter, including the joint HELCOM-OSPAR procedure on exemptions adopted in 2013.In the ensuing discussion, views were expressed that the harmonized procedure on exemptions developed and adopted by HELCOM and OSPAR in 2013 is a good example of regional cooperation on these matters which other regions may use as an example.The IMO sub-committee agreed that further discussion on the relevant regulations (BWMC A-3 and A-4) and Guidelines (G7) was needed with a view to clarifying their application in the context of exceptions and exemptions under the BWM Convention.The meeting finally invited the 68th session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), scheduled to take place 11-15 May 2015 in London, to consider the views expressed and advise on any follow-up actions. * * * Note for editors:The of HELCOM identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and ways for safer navigation in the Baltic Sea. It also works to ensure enforcement and harmonized implementation of IMOs international shipping regulations in accordance to the 1992 Helsinki Convention. The Commission was set up by the 1992 OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, which unified and updated the 1972 Oslo and 1974 Paris Conventions. It brings together the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, together with the European Community. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. * * * For more information, please contact:Hermanni Backer Professional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Maritime Spatial Planning HELCOM Tel:  +358 46 850 9199 Skype: helcom02 E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)​

Harmonized procedure on exemptions developed and adopted by HELCOM and OSPAR in 2013 is perceived a good example of regional cooperation.