Ballast Water Management Convention Will Enter Into Force On 8 September 2017
July 5, 2017
IMO adopted the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments in 2004 to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ water and sediments.
While establishing a global legislative regime to control the discharge of ballast water and, in particular, the discharge of invasive species into the sea, the BWM Convention also requires ship-owners to install management and treatment systems, as well as to train personnel to use it.
One year after ratification, on 8 September 2017, the BWM Convention will enter into force.
According to Article 3, the BWM Convention applies to all ships including submersibles, floating craft, floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs. It will not apply to:
• ships not designed to carry ballast water;
• warships, naval auxiliary ships or other ships owned or operated by a state;
• ships only on non-commercial service, or
• ships with permanent ballast water in sealed tanks.
Also, Regulation B-3.6 provides that the requirements of ballast water management standards do not apply to ships that discharge ballast water to a reception facility.
IMO compliance schedule is based on a ship’s ballast capacity, construction date and date of her first IOPP Certificate renewal survey (after entry into force of the BWM Convention).
All ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard prescribed by the BWM Convention and according to a ship-specific Ballast Water and Sediment Management Plan (BWSMP).
According to the Annexe of the BWM Convention – Section B (Management and Control Requirements for Ships), all ships will also have to carry the following:
• Ballast Water and Sediment Management Plan approved by the administration (Reg. B-1);
• Ballast Water Log Book to record ballast water movements (Reg. B-2);
• An International Ballast Water Management Certificate (Reg. E-3).
Additionally, the BWM Convention requires relevant training for the crew. This implies that once a Ballast Water Treatment System has been selected and fitted, the ship-owner must ensure that the crew are properly trained to operate it. In fact, the system may be very complex, which may include some notions of biological, chemical and physical parts. Crew training and ability to operate the system may be inspected by the Port State Control. Negative results of crew preparedness may lead to a further detailed inspection.