The Philippine Star

Phl deposits instrument­s of accession to 3 int’l maritime convention­s


The Philippine­s remains committed to global efforts to protect the marine environmen­t from invasive species and pollution from ships.

Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo deposited Manila’s instrument­s of accession to the Internatio­nal Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments’ 2004 (BWM Convention) and the Internatio­nal Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems in Ships, 2001 (AFS Convention) to Internatio­nal Maritime Organizati­on (IMO) Secretary General Kitack Lim.

In accordance with IMO regulation­s, the three IMO instrument­s will become effective in the Philippine­s on Sept. 6.

The BWM Convention, adopted in 2004, prescribes regulation­s to control the transfer of potentiall­y invasive species and harmful aquatic organisms found in ships’ ballast water, and requires all ships to manage their ballast water and sediments according to standard.

It envisions that most ships will have an on-board ballast water treatment system installed. States parties to the Convention need to ensure that ports and terminals have adequate facilities for the reception of sediments.

The AFS Convention prohibits the use of harmful substances and compounds in anti-fouling paints used on ships. Anti-fouling paints are used to coat the bottoms of ships to prevent algae and mollusks from attaching to the hull.

Studies have shown these harmful substances leach into the sea water and cause considerab­le damage and harm to the marine environmen­t.

States parties to the AFS Convention are required to prohibit or restrict the of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships flying their flag, as well as ships not entitled to fly their flag but which operate under their authority and all ships that enter a port, shipyard or offshore terminal of a Party.

Lagdameo also deposited the instrument of accession to the Protocol of 1988 relating to the Internatio­nal Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS Protocol 88), expressing the Philippine­s’ enduring adherence to its maritime treaty obligation­s.

The SOLAS Protocol 88 introduces a harmonized system of survey and certificat­ion for the SOLAS and Load Lines Convention­s, which would enable the surveys, mandated by both Convention­s, to be carried out at the same time.

The IMO secretary general is the designated depository of all instrument­s of ratificati­on or accession by member states to IMO Convention­s.

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