6 June 2018 – The Philippines reiterated its continuing commitment to the global efforts to protect the marine environment from invasive species and pollution from ships as the Philippine Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, HE Antonio M. Lagdameo, deposited to the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Mr Kitack Lim the 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).

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. The BWM Convention 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 that 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.

In addition, Ambassador 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.

He was accompanied in the simple ceremonies at the IMO Headquarters by Deputy Chief of Mission and Deputy Permanent Representative to the IMO Mr. Senen Mangalile, Minister and Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO Ms. Emma R. Sarne, and Technical Adviser to the Maritime Attaché Capt. Eustacio Enriquez PCG

The IMO Secretary General is the designated depository of all instruments of ratification or accession by Member States to IMO Conventions.  In accordance with IMO regulations, these 3 IMO instruments will become effective for the Philippines three months from the date of deposit or on 6 September 2018.

Ambassador Lagdameo handed over to IMO Secretary General Mr. Kitack Lim, the Accession documents signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Senate Resolutions concurring to the accession by the Philippines to the 3 IMO Instruments. END

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