The Merchant Shipping Amendment Bill, 2015: Features And Accession

The Merchant Shipping Amendment Bill, 2015: Features And Accession

Question - Marine development is the key to stable economic growth. Discuss the features of the Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill 2015 recently cleared by the Union Cabinet and accession to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (Ballast Water Management Convention) of International Maritime Organisation/IMO.

• The bill incorporates into the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 enabling provisions for implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention.

• Indian ships of 400 GT and above on foreign voyages must have the International Ballast Water Management Certificate

• Indian ships below this level plying within territorial waters of India will be issued an Indian Ballast Water Management Certificate as per provisions of the amendment bill

• Those which cannot carry ballast water, or are war ships or naval auxiliary or government owned non commercial ships are exempted

• As per the Bill acceding to the convention, port authorities must provide ballast water sediment reception facilities

• Indian as well as foreign ships of 400 GT and above should also carry a Ballast Water Management Plan

• Ships of 400 GT or above must also be surveyed and inspected

• If ship complies with convention following testing of ballast water, and is still detained, it is eligible for compensation

• Proposed bill provides penalty for not complying with provisions

• Port will charge ships for using such facilities as per the bill

About the Convention

• The convention requires ships to set up an approved Ballast Water and Sediments Management Plan

• New ships will also have to carry Ballast Water Record Book and follow procedures pertaining to ballast water management as per a given standard

• Existing ships must do the same following a phase in period

• Certificate of ships will be verified and ballast water record book inspected by Port State Control Officers

Facts and Stats

• Ships fill ballast tanks with water for stabilisation of vessels at sea

• It is critical for maintaining safe operations and reduced stress on the hull through the following:

- Provides transverse stability
- Improves propulsion, manoeuvrability
- Compensates for weight

• Ballast water also carries aquatic organisms and pathogens causing problems which are:

- Health related
- Ecological
- Economical

• The convention seeks to therefore regulate ballast water management
Post your comment