ClassNK released its new set of technical rules, Rules and Guidance for Ballast Water Management Installations, in accordance with the entry into force of the International BWM Convention, 2004, and amendments to Regulations for the Classification and Registry of Ships, on 8 September 2017.
The BWM Convention was adopted for the purpose of preventing the transfer of aquatic organisms and pathogens harmful to the environment, human health and economic activity, emitted from vessels carrying ballast water engaged in international voyages.
The convention also requires all ships carrying ballast water which are engaged in international voyages to gradually phase in the installation of Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) which satisfy relevant ballast water exchange standards, carry approved ballast water management plans, and appropriately maintain ballast water record books.
The application of the BWM Convention was further discussed at MEPC71, in July 2017, where it was agreed that a grace period would be granted to ships whose keels are laid prior to the convention’s entry-into-force date to allow them sufficient time to comply with the provisions regarding BWMS installation.
In addition to meeting requirements of the BWM Convention, the newly established Rules and Guidance for Ballast Water Management Installations stands as a regulation requirement that incorporates expertise gained through IACS Unified Requirements, domestic law and ClassNK related affairs.
Furthermore, ships subject to the provisions of the BWM Convention with an international gross tonnage of 400 gross tons and above are now required to be surveyed and issued an International Ballast Water Management Certificate to verify their compliance.
ClassNK also made amendments to Regulations for the Classification and Registry of Ships regarding requirements of the Installations Characters (BWM) which gives authorization to vessels which meet this installation regulation.