According to Spark International, Korean authorities have taken precautions to keep radioactive ballast water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant’s wastewater out of Korean waterways.
s a result, from August 24, 2023 vessels that are entering the ports of Republic of Korea after uptaking ballast water in the ports belong to Aomori Prefecture, Iwate Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, Ibaragi Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture in the eastern coast of Japan are subject to regulations.
#1 For vessels planning to enter Korean ports after taking on ballast water from the six Eastern ports in Japan
Vessels are to submit a ballast water reporting form, 24 hours prior to entering the Korean port. (including details related to the management of ballast water, such as the uptake, treatment, and discharge, etc.).
There will be guidance from the local agents when they request the vessel for the necessary documents for port clearance, and the details will be entered into PORT-MIS by the agent.
Falsifying a ballast water reporting from or making a fraudulent entry in the BWMS operation record could lead to detention or fines for negligence in accordance with Ballast Water Management Act.
#2 For vessels planning to discharge ballast water in Korean waters after taking on ballast water from six Eastern prefectures in Japan
The vessels are to exchange their Ballast water outside of Korean jurisdictional waters before entering the Korean port. (The exchange operation must take place between the passage of Tsugaru Strait and 135°30’E when sailing northward, such as passing Tsugaru Strait. When the vessel sails southward, such as through the Kanmon Strait, the exchange must be made between 34°35’N and 132°30’E.)
The officers of Regional Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office will carry out on-board inspection to check whether the Ballast water has been exchanged or not. They will take one (1) liter sample of ballast water and conduct a test to check radioactivity using mobile radioactive measuring equipment.
This test will take about an hour. Discharge of ballast water allowed after passing of the test. If the Ballast water exchange has not been made, or if the test result is positive, the discharge of the Ballast water will be prohibited.
#3 For vessels without a plan to discharge ballast water into Korean waters after taking on ballast water from six Eastern prefectures in Japan
Vessels are to submit data proving non-discharge of ballast water, to the person in charge of the relevant Regional Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office via email at least an hour before departure.
Documental proof includes the following:
- Ballast water record book
- Log book
- BWMS operation record
- Ballast water tank capacity (photos).
The relevant Regional Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office will review the submitted documents to verify non-discharge status prior to departure (onboard investigation may be conducted if necessary). Vessel departure is only permitted following verification of ballast water status.