As explained, the Convention aims to ensure that no invasive species are transported in the ballast water of the ships from waters in one region to another. To this end, in future all new built ships must be equipped with a ballast water treatment system. For existing ships, systems must be installed as from 8 September 2019 to 8 September 2024.

But the new rules are complex, and there are a number of conditions that officers have to cope with, in order to avoid problems in relation with for example port state inspections. Today, existing ships must comply with the convention, and this means, for example, that the ballast water must be changed on the journey if a treatment system is not installed. The ships must also be equipped with a certificate and approved ship-specific ballast water management manual, and the officers must be familiar with different local requirements, such as the American special rules.

In response, the guide, entitled "The Little Blue Book on Ballast Water" should make it easier and more manageable to comply with the rules of the convention and to help the shipping companies to handle the task in order to avoid problems when inspected by the port authorities.

The project is supported by the Danish Maritime Fund and is being prepared by the consulting company Litehauz.

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