The International Law on Ballast Water

Preventing Biopollution


"The introduction of invasive marine species into new environments, whether by ships’ ballast water, attached to ships’ hulls or via other means has been identified as one of the four main threats to the world’s oceans, along with land-based sources of marine pollution, over-exploitation of living marine resources and the physical alteration or destruction of marine habitat.
Increased trade and the consequent greater volumes of maritime traffic over the last few decades have served to fuel the problem. The effects in many areas of the world have been serious and significant. Quantitative data show that the rate of bio-invasions is continuing to increase, in some cases exponentially, and new areas are being found to be invaded all the time. As volumes of seaborne trade continue overall to increase, the problem may not yet have reached its peak.
In response, IMO first adopted Guidelines for Preventing the Introduction of Unwanted Organisms and Pathogens from Ships' Ballast Water and Sediment Discharges in 1991; while the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, recognized the issue as a major international concern. The IMO Guidelines have since been kept constantly under review and updated.
Subsequently, in February 2004, the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments was adopted. In providing a broad overview of the legal aspects related to marine pollution caused by ballast water and tank sediments, this book offers a pragmatic analysis of the current international legal system, and includes principles of international customary law and also references to a comprehensive environmental treaty law framework which relates the Ballast Water Convention to other treaties, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), MARPOL and the Convention on Biological Diversity. With such a wide-ranging approach, this book will certainly provide a source of valuable information for all those with a requirement to pursue the subject in depth."

From the Foreword by Efthimios E. Mitropoulos

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Maria Helena F. S. Rolim, Ph.D., has worked as invited researcher at the Space Policy Institute, Washington, USA. She has been legal consultant of the United Nations for over 18 years, in particular at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as the Brazilian local legal adviser under the GloBallast Programme, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Bank. She is former professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo and former invited associate professor and researcher in Law of the Sea at the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, Oslo University, Norway. She has been member of the Brazilian delegation at the United Nations (Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and IMO) and received a Brazilian Navy Award Medal for her collaboration and concern with respect to the protection of the oceans. She has published extensively on the Law of the Sea and on Space Law, as the Brazilian legal adviser for the Brazilian International Space Station Programme, in tandem with NASA.
"... an invaluable source of information for readers in search of an updated theoretical and practical approach to this important topic." – Rodolfo P. Ripoll-Salcines, Professor of Law, University of Cienfuegos and Arbitrator of the Cuban Court of International Commercial Arbitration, The Chamber of Commerce, Havana, Cuba
Foreword by Efthimios E. Mitropoulos; Foreword by Andreas I. Chrysostomou; Preface by Erik Røsaeg; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Biopollution and Ballast Water
2.1. Introduction; 2.2. Defi nitions and Use of Terms; 2.3. Scientifi c Aspects on Biopollution (Erkki Leppäkoski); 2.4. From Pollution to Biopollution of the Marine Environment; 2.5. Conclusion
Chapter 3: Evolution of the International Law on Biopollution
3.1. Introduction; 3.2. Customary International Law; 3.3. Treaty Law; 3.4. Conclusion
Chapter 4: IMO and Codifi cation of the International Law on Ballast Water Management
4.1. The IMO and its Treaty-making Procedures (Gaetano Librando); 4.2. The IMO Resolutions; 4.3. The 2004 International Convention for the Control and
Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments; 4.4. Conclusion
Chapter 5: GloBallast Legislative Review: Brazilian Case Study
5.1. Introduction; 5.2. Unilateral Acts and Ballast Water; 5.3. The Brazilian GloBallast Legislative Review
Chapter 6: Conclusion
Annex I: International Convention for the Control and Management
of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004

Annex II: Guidelines required under the BWM
Convention and adopted by IMO/MEPC Resolutions

Annex III: IMO Resolution A.868(20), 1997, Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water to Minimize the Transfer of Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens
Annex IV: Draft of National Legislation on Ballast Water
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