A year from now, all vessels subject to the Ballast Water Management Convention must have an approved ballast water treatment system installed onboard, Gard P&I Club experts highlight.
last MEPC in June 2023 adopted amendments to appendix II of the Annex to the BWM Convention (Form of Ballast Water Record Book), expected to enter into force on 1 February 2025.rom 8 September 2024, all vessels subject to the BWM Convention (all ships over 400 GT, with some exceptions and additions) must meet the performance standards contained in regulation D-2, meaning that vessels without a ballast water treatment system must install an approved system before the deadline. Furthermore,
Good management of ballast water is critical to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species
..say Cameron Livingstone, Claims Executive, Arendal & Kristin Urdahl, Senior Loss Prevention Executive, Arendal, in a recent article on Gard Club website, advising ship operators that have not made their decision on the installation of ballast water treatment systems to start the preparatory work as soon as possible.
The 8 September 2024 deadline is nearing and there are multiple decisions that should be made in order to ensure compliance.
In that regard, Cameron and Kristin recommend the following:
- Ensure that the obligations under the BWM Convention, and under other national and local regulations, are fully understood, and develop a thorough strategy for complying with the applicable standards.
- Pay particular attention to the position in the United States (US). The US is not a party to the BWM Convention. Vessels discharging ballast water into US territorial waters must comply with the US BWM Regulation regardless of a vessel’s status under the IMO BWM Convention. The US maintains a separate list of ballast water treatment systems approved by the US Coast Guard.
- Evaluate the suitability of available ballast water treatment system solutions for each vessel based on its operating profile and design (see below for more information on the different treatment options).
- Consider the “time factor”. Availability and delivery times for approved treatment systems will vary depending on demand, as will shipyard capacity.
- Once a ballast water treatment system solution has been selected, make sure officers and crew are properly trained and are competent to carry out their assigned ballast water management duties and functions. Procedures for training and familiarization for the BWM Convention should be incorporated in the company’s safety management system (SMS) and should include, but not be limited to, the following:
- introduction to ballast water management and all relevant rules and regulations;
- familiarization with the vessel’s ballast water management plan and assigned duties;
- operation and maintenance of the vessel’s ballast water management treatment system;
- emergency procedures; and
- making entries and recordkeeping in the vessel’s ballast water record book.
- Ensure every vessel has onboard an approved Ballast Water Management Plan, a Ballast Water Record Book, and an International Ballast Water Management Certificate.
- Prepare for Port State Control (PSC) inspections. In addition to verification of valid and approved onboard procedures, records and certificates, sampling of the vessel’s ballast water may be required carried out in accordance with the IMO Guidelines for ballast water sampling (G2). Compliance with national and local regulations will also be subject to inspection by PSC.
Do you know?
Ballast water is seawater that is carried in the ballast tanks and cargo holds of ships to improve stability and maneuverability during a ship’s voyage. Around the world, ships carry 3-5 billion tons of ballast water each year.
Ballast water is drawn into ballast tanks from the sea, generally at the start of a voyage at a port. It will often contain a large variety of marine organisms, which are then transported and released at the next port-of-call. These “non-native species” can have a serious ecological, economic and public health impact on the receiving environment.