Following Finland's accession of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) on Thursday, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has confirmed that the convention will enter into force on September 8, 2017.
Finland's accession is said to bring the combined tonnage of the convention's 52 contracting states to 35.1441 percent of the world's merchant shipping fleet.
The convention states that it would enter into force 12 months after a minimum of 30 states, representing 35 percent of world merchant shipping tonnage had ratified the agreement.
"This is a truly significant milestone for the health of our planet," said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
"The entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention will not only minimise the risk of invasions by alien species via ballast water, it will also provide a global level playing field for international shipping, providing clear and robust standards for the management of ballast water on ships."
The BWM Convention will require ships to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within their ballast water and sediments.
As Ship & Bunker has previously reported, some analysts believe that tanker rates could get a further boost as tonnage is taken out of service for special surveys or dry docking ahead of the BWM Convention's implementation.