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Ballast Water Management Regulations

 Standards for ballast water management: 

  • ( Regulation D-1) ballast water exchange standard  and 
  • (Regulation D-2) the more stringent ballast water performance standard .
These requirements are being implemented in a phased manner and henceforth only the D-2 Regulations will be acceptable after the Convention comes into force on 8 September 2017. Ships performing ballast water exchange shall do so with an efficiency of 95 per cent volumetric exchange of ballast water and ships using a ballast water treatment system (BWTS) shall meet a performance standard ( Regulation D-2) based on agreed numbers of organisms per unit of volume.

Regulation D-3 of the BWM Convention requires that ballast water management systems used to comply with the Convention must be approved by the Administration taking into account the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8).

Regulation D-3 also requires that ballast water management systems which make use of Active Substances to comply with the Convention shall be approved by IMO in accordance with the Procedure for approval of ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances (G9). 

Procedure (G9) consists of a two-tier process – Basic and Final Approval – to ensure that the ballast water management system does not pose unreasonable risk to the environment, human health, property or resources.

GESAMP to review the proposals submitted for approval of ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances. The GESAMP Ballast Water Working Group (GESAMP-BWWG)
reports to the Organization on whether such a proposal presents unreasonable risks in accordance with the criteria specified in the Procedure for approval of ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances.
The Convention requires a review to be undertaken in order to determine whether appropriate technologies are available to
achieve the standard. MEPC has conducted a number of such reviews and agreed that appropriate and IMO approved technologies are now available to achieve the performance
standard contained in regulation D-2 of the BWM Convention.

Under the Convention, ships are required, according to a timetable of implementation, to comply with the D1 or D2 standards.

The D1 standard requires ships to carry out a ballast water exchange, and specifies the volume of water that must be replaced. This standard involves exchanging the uptaken discharge water from the last port, with new sea water; it must occur at a minimum of 200 nautical miles from shore. 

The D2 standard is more stringent and requires the use of an approved ballast water treatment system. The system must ensure that only small levels of viable organisms remain left in water after treatment so as to minimise the Environmental impact of shipping.
New ships will be required to install and comply with the D2 standard from the 8th September 2017, once the Convention has entered into force. Existing ships, who are subject to the phased implementation schedule, have potentially (depending on the renewal of their ship certificates) until the 8th September 2024, by which time all ships will comply with the D2 standard.

It is also possible for ships to discharge ballast at approved shore reception facilities in ports, as article 5 requires that when cleaning or repair of a ships ballast tanks occurs, ports should have adequate reception facilities for the sediments. Facilities must include safe disposal arrangements, storage and treatment equipment, safe and suitable mooring and emergency arrangements and the necessary reducers for connections to ships.

Some ships may be exempted from complying with the Convention, according to certain conditions and the appropriate permission being given by a flag State. These include ships trading in a limited area, small vessels including sailboats and fishing vessels, vessels only operating on one coast and also FPSOs.


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