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Supporting Ballast Water Management and Anti-fouling Systems Conventions in Madagascar

A national workshop in Antananarivo, Madagascar (14-17 May) has underscored the importance of IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) and Anti-fouling Systems (AFS) Conventions for the protection of the marine environment and biodiversity.

The BWM Convention, which entered into force in 2017, aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms in ships’ ballast water from one region to another. It does so by requiring all ships in international traffic to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard, according to a ship-specific management plan. All ships must also carry a ballast water record book and an international ballast water management certificate.

The AFS Convention entered into force in 2008, setting out controls on certain harmful substances in anti-fouling systems, including organotin compounds (TBTs) and, from 2023, cybutryne. It also provides a mechanism for introducing controls on additional substances in the future.

Through presentations, group discussions and role-play exercises, twenty-seven government officials covered the actions to take at a national level to implement and enforce the conventions. Subjects covered include: an overview of ballast water management and anti-fouling systems; an overview of the BWM and AFS Conventions and related Guidelines; understanding the obligations of Parties under the BWM and AFS Convention; compliance monitoring and enforcement for port State control; risk mitigation; and other technical and regulatory aspects.

Since the adoption of these Conventions, IMO has run national and regional workshops to encourage and assist countries in their ratification, effective implementation and enforcement. This has contributed to a steady growth in the ratification status of these conventions – contributing to improving protection of the marine environment.

The workshop was organized by IMO and hosted by Madagascar’s Agence Portuaire Maritime et Fluviale (APMF) and delivered through IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.
Source: IMO

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