IF a UN member state has not ratified the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention, the advice of World Shipping Council president ballast water treatment regulation is don't do it - not yet.
Not until there is a globally accepted ballast water treatment technology to do the job, he told a conference on ballast water treatment regulation in the US.
"Regulations that require multi-billion dollar investment should also provide certainty that the technology if properly installed and properly operated will meet regulatory obligations for the life of the vessel. We are not there yet," Mr Koch said.
The measure comes into force if Singapore and Japan ratify the treaty as many expect them to do, notes Newark's Journal of Commerce.
Mr Koch said while there is general, global acceptance of the IMO's ballast water treatment discharge standard, there is today no globally accepted ballast water treatment technology that meets that standard.
This means that vessel operators could face an enormous capital investment in treatment technology that may be insufficient to meet regulatory obligations, reported London's Tanker Operator.
"If the convention enters into force before approved technology is commercially available and before the IMO guidelines are amended to address their recognised problems, vessel owners would face a legal obligation to install technology that may not meet the convention's standard or be acceptable in the US," said Mr Koch.
"These shortcomings should be causing thoughtful governments that have not yet ratified the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention to pause, because what nation wants to be the one that causes the convention to come into force before these fundamental issues have been resolved?" he said.
"What nation wants to trigger a requirement on the industry to invest tens of billions of dollars in treatment technology if that investment does not offer the vessels certainty that they can trade anywhere in global commerce with regulatory confidence?" he said.
Source : HKSG.