December 18 - The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents 80 percent of the world's merchant tonnage, has said that there is too little time to retrofit tens of thousands of vessels with ballast water treatment systems to comply with Uni

Concerns over the impact on aquatic life, such as the introduction of invasive species when ballast water is taken from one area in the world and discharged in another, has been the source of the new UN regulatory regime.

"It will be very difficult to retrofit tens of thousands of ships within two or three years as the convention currently requires," said Masamichi Morooka, chairman of ICS, speaking after a meeting of leading associations of shipbuilders, classification societies and shipowners in Busan, South Korea recently.

ICS said that the tight deadline puts unattainable demands on ship repair facilities, engineering capabilities and on the relatively small number of manufacturers that have developed suitable treatment equipment.