Ballast Water Management Convention

Introduction to Ballast Water Management Convention

According to IMO estimates, ships carry some 3 billion tons to 5 billion tons of ballast water globally each year. “The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004” (Ballast Water Management Convention) was adopted in 2004 with the aim of protecting the marine environment from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water carried by ships. And, the BWM Convention entered into force on 8 September 2017.

The latest information of ratification status of the Convention can be accessed through "Recent ratifications" in IMO Homepage: IMO / English / About IMO / Conventions / Status of Conventions that allows downloading datasheet of each country.

Ballast water management for ships need to be made in accordance with the following Standards under this Convention.

(1) Ballast water performance standard (Regulation D-2)
(2) Ballast water exchange standard (Regulation D-1)

Finally, ships shall conduct primary method that Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens in ballast water are treated with approved Ballast Water Management System (BWMS).

International Ballast Water Management Certificate (IBWMC)

All ships of 400 gross tonnage and above to which the BWM Convention applies (including existing ships, except floating platform, FSUs and FPSOs) are required to carry International Ballast Water Management Certificate.

The below documents are to be kept on board not only ships applied with Regulation D-2 (ballast water performance standard) but also those with only Regulation D-1 (ballast water exchange standard).

(1) International Ballast Water Management Certificate (IBWMC)
(2) Approved Ballast Water Management Plan (BWMP)
(3) Ballast Water Record Book (BWRB)

ClassNK carries out initial survey to confirm that required documents and equipment are provided onboard, and issue the certificate (IBWMC) on behalf of some flag Administration. Also, prior to the initial survey, it is necessary that the onboard documents and revised drawing be approved; please submit them to ClassNK Machinery Department beforehand. For more details about the abovementioned plans, please refer to ClassNK Technical Information No. TEC-1086. With regard to the survey application, please submit it to our site office in charge of the onboard survey.

TEC-1086

Where a ship, which operates only in waters under jurisdiction of a single Party with their permission not to comply with the Convention, operates outside of the area of waters as defined on a single voyage (e.g. for a dry-dock etc.), an exemption may be granted for the ship on the condition that the ship performs ballast water exchange in accordance with an approved Ballast Water Management Plan. The details can be found in the following link:

BWM.2/Circ.52/Rev.1

Due date for Implementation installing Ballast Water Management System

On the 72th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC72) which was held in April 2018, regarding to the application schedule of Regulation D-2 (ballast water performance standard) in the convention, the amendment of Regulation B-3 was adopted. For more details about the schedule of the ballast water discharge standards, please refer to ClassNK Technical Information No. TEC-1116.

TEC-1116

Ballast Water Management System should be approved by Administrations in accordance with IMO Guidelines (G8/G9) to comply with the Regulation D-2 standard of the Convention. Approval (G8 and G9) list of Ballast Water Management System can be found in the following link:

List of approved Ballast Water Treatment System

For ships engaged in U.S. waters, the Installation of the Ballast Water Management System is to be approved by United States Coast Guard (USCG). The latest information of the approval of Ballast Water Management System by USCG can be found in USCG Homepage:

United States Coast Guard

Sampling and analysis at the Commissioning test

Commissioning test to verify the proper operation of equipment shall be carried out at the installation of any BWMS. MEPC 74 has approved a draft amendment to the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) to conduct commissioning testing so as to demonstrate through representative sampling and indicative analysis that a BWMS is working properly, and this amendment has been adopted at MEPC 75.
According to the amendments, sampling and analysis should be conducted at commissioning test if the survey including verification of BWMS installation is completed on or after 1 June 2022.
MEPC 75 further adopted amendments to Guidance for the commissioning testing of ballast water management systems (BWM.2/Circ.70/rev.1).
The major revision points are specified below.

  • Local ambient water should be used for testing regardless of the organism concentrations in the water.
  • Representative samples should be analyzed for the two size classes of organisms, namely ≥ 50 μm, and ≥ 10 μm to < 50 μm, as specified in the D-2 standard, using indicative analysis methods. Analysis for microbes is not required.

Prior to the entering into force of this amendment, following flag administrations require the early implementation so that the sampling analysis to be conducted in accordance with their instructions.

Flag Instructions by flag administrations
Australia 2019-01 Circular for BWMS commissioning
https://www.awe.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/aircraft-vessels-military/vessels/marine-pest-biosecurity/ballast#shipping-industry-circulars
Cyprus 20/2019 Commissioning Test of Ballast Water Management Systems Installed on Cyprus Flagged Ships.
https://www.dms.gov.cy/dms/shipping.nsf/all/CBD8EBB20A2FB079C225834600384CE0?opendocument
Singapore No.9 of 2019 COMMISSIONING TESTING OF BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
https://www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home/port-of-singapore/circulars-and-notices/shipping-circulars
Tuvalu MC-3/2016/1 Ballast Water Management Convention
https://tvship.com/marinecircular
Greece Application of IMO Circular BWM2Circ70 (original)
Greece Application of IMO Circular BWM2Circ70 (translated)
India 165 Ballast Water Convention
https://www.dgshipping.gov.in/Content/DGSCirculars.aspx?branchid=22

Also, the following flag administrations recommend the early implementation of the sampling analysis.

Flag Instructions by flag administrations
Bahamas BMA BULLETIN No. 165 Intl Convention for Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (Ballast Water Management Convention)
https://www.bahamasmaritime.com/notices/bulletins/
Panama MMC-345 Ballast Water Management Convention 2004, Panama Policy.
https://panamashipregistry.com/maritime-services/segumar/ballast-water/
Liberia POL-014 Implementation, Survey and Certification under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention)
https://www.liscr.com/online-library-official-guidance

Attentions for operating Ballast Water Management System[New]

ClassNK has analyzed the retrofit status of ballast water management systems (BWMS) on registered ships and confirmed that the installation deadline under the Ballast Water Management Convention is concentrated in 2022, and has already issued a press release titled "ClassNK Advises Existing Ships to Install Ballast Water Management Systems Early On”. As of the end of July 2022, which informs that more than 80% of registered ships have already completed the installation, and many ships will switch from ballast water exchange (D-1 regulation) to ballast water management with BWMS (D-2 regulation). Along with the increase in BWMS operations, it would be concerned that minor problems caused by unfamiliar operations, lack of maintenance, and the other factors will increase. Typical troubles and their counter measures / precautions were investigated since we believe that these minor problems could be well-managed or prevented by crew members, which contributes to reducing the number of problems. The common problems among each type of BWMS and those counter measures /precautions are introduced as follows.

1. Malfunction in highly turbid waters
 In waters with high turbidity, the differential pressure of ballast water filters may increase due to clogging. If the differential pressure exceeds the specified value, the BWMS will raise an alarm and the system may be forced to shut down. In this case, it is effective to take measures specified in the manual, such as manual backwashing. If possible, it is also able to adjust the ballast water flow rate so that the differential pressure does not exceed the specified value. Please note that a sudden pressure increase may cause filter damage in case where the BWMS is repeatedly started and stopped without proper backwashing procedures.

2. Malfunction of BWMS-related parts, life span of consumables, etc.
 Periodical maintenance and replacement should be performed in accordance with the manual. It is also effective to supply and keep spare parts onboard in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. It is reminded that consumables, such as chemicals, require proper expiration management respectively.

3. Clogging of the TRO (Total Residual Oxidants) sampling line
 Foreign substances in the TRO sampling line may interrupt normal measurement and BWMS will raise an alarm. This can be solved by periodic cleaning of the sampling line. In case of discharging cargo hold bilge water or cleaning water, cargo residues could be contaminated through the common ballast and bilge lines, so it may be effective to close the TRO sampling valve at the discharge operations and, if possible, flushing operation is conducted immediately with treated ballast water.

Please refer to the document via the following link for typical BWMS failure cases for each treatment method.

Typical malfunctions of BWMS

In the event of a BWMS malfunction due to equipment failure or water quality problems that interrupt proper ballast management, a contingency measure can be taken in accordance with BWM.2/Circ.62. In order to conduct a contingency measure, it is necessary to consult with the port authorities of the port of call where ballast water discharge is planned, in order to determine the details. Therefore, it is recommended that ballast water exchange procedures in accordance with Regulation D-1 or individual contingency measures should be included in the ballast water management plan (BWMP) in advance. Also, please be aware that some Flag Administrations (Panama, Liberia, and Singapore) instruct, as a mandatory requirement, to incorporate contingency measures into the BWMP for vessels that have passed the due date for application of Regulation D-2.

Information of Ballast Water Management Convention

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT OF SHIPS’ BALLAST WATER AND SEDIMENTS, 2004

CODE FOR APPROVAL OF BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (BWMS CODE)

Title Download
CODE FOR APPROVAL OF BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (BWMS CODE)
MEPC.300(72)

Guidelines G1-G14 of Ballast Water Management Convention

GNo. Title Download
G1 GUIDELINES FOR SEDIMENT RECEPTION FACILITIES G1
G2 GUIDELINES FOR BALLAST WATER SAMPLING G2
G3 GUIDELINES FOR BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT EQUIVALENT COMPLIANCE G3
G4 GUIDELINES FOR BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT PLANS G4
G5 GUIDELINES FOR BALLAST WATER RECEPTION FACILITIES G5
G6 GUIDELINES FOR BALLAST WATER EXCHANGE G6
G7 GUIDELINES FOR RISK ASSESSMENT UNDER REGULATION A-4 OF THE BWM CONVENTION G7
G8 GUIDELINES FOR APPROVAL OF BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS G8
G9 PROCEDURE FOR APPROVAL OF BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS THAT MAKE USE OF ACTIVE SUBSTANCES G9
G10 GUIDELINES FOR APPROVAL AND OVERSIGHT OF PROTOTYPE BALLAST WATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMMES G10
G11 GUIDELINES FOR BALLAST WATER EXCHANGE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS G11
G12 2012 GUIDELINES ON DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION TO FACILITATE SEDIMENT CONTROL ON SHIPS G12
G13 GUIDELINES FOR ADDITIONAL MEASURES REGARDING BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT INCLUDING EMERGENCY SITUATIONS G13
G14 GUIDELINES ON DESIGNATION OF AREAS FOR BALLAST WATER EXCHANGE G14

For general questions about Ballast Water Management Convention, please contact:

NIPPON KAIJI KYOKAI (ClassNK)
Mchinery Department, Administration Center Annex, Head Office
Address: 3-3 Kioi-Cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0094, Japan
Tel: +81-3-5226-2023
Fax: +81-3-5226-2024
E-mail: mcd@classnk.or.jp

For any questions about Ballast Water Management System, Please contact

NIPPON KAIJI KYOKAI (ClassNK)
Material and Equipment Department, Administration Center Annex, Head Office
Address: 3-3 Kioi-Cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0094, Japan       
Tel: +81-3-5226-2020  
Fax: +81-3-5226-2757  
E-mail: eqd@classnk.or.jp  

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