Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Skip Navigation LinksBWMFAQ BWM FAQ

Skip Navigation LinksIMO / English / Our Work / Marine Environment / Ballast Water Management / BWM FAQ

BWM FAQ

 

Where can I find information on ballast water management?

Information on ballast water management may be obtained from the IMO website or from the ballast water dedicated site developed by the GloBallast Programme (http://globallast.imo.org).
 
Information on various ballast water treatment technologies that are currently being developed and researched may be obtained from the different GloBallast R&D Forum proceedings. A list of approved ballast water management systems can be found here​.
 
Further information on the latest developments in the Marine Environment Protection Committee may be obtained from Briefing on Marine Environment Protection Committee Meetings from the Press Briefing section of the IMO website.
 
Additional information about the ballast water management issue may be obtained from the websites developed by various government or non-government organizations, which have been listed by GloBallast and may be obtained here.

 

What is the latest status of the BWM Convention?

The BWM Convention entered into force on 8 September 2017.

Where can I get the text of the BWM Convention?

The text of the Convention is available from IMO Publications (ISBN 92-801-0033-5, sales number: I620M).  

How many Guidelines on ballast water management have been adopted and where can I find the texts of those Guidelines?

The following Guidelines relating to the uniform implementation of the BWM Convention have been developed and adopted since MEPC 53:

  • Guidelines for sediment reception facilities (G1) (resolution MEPC.152(55));
  • Guidelines for ballast water sampling (G2) (resolution MEPC.173(58));
  • Guidelines for ballast water management equivalent compliance (G3) (resolution MEPC.123(53));
  • Guidelines for ballast water management and development of ballast water management plans (G4) (resolution MEPC.127(53));
  • Guidelines for ballast water reception facilities (G5) (resolution MEPC.153(55));
  • 2017 Guidelines for ballast water exchange (G6) (resolution MEPC.288(71));
  • 2017 Guidelines for risk assessment under regulation A-4 of the BWM Convention (G7) (resolution MEPC.289(71));
  • 2016 Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8) (resolution MEPC.279(70));
  • Procedure for approval of ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances (G9) (resolution MEPC.169(57));
  • Guidelines for approval and oversight of prototype ballast water treatment technology programmes (G10) (resolution MEPC.140(54));
  • Guidelines for ballast water exchange design and construction standards (G11) (resolution MEPC.149(55));
  • 2012 Guidelines on design and construction to facilitate sediment control on ships (G12) (resolution MEPC.209(63));
  • Guidelines for additional measures regarding ballast water management including emergency situations (G13) (resolution MEPC.161(56));
  • Guidelines on designation of areas for ballast water exchange (G14) (resolution MEPC.151(55));
  • Guidelines for ballast water exchange in the Antarctic treaty area (resolution MEPC.163(56)); and
  • Guidelines for port State control under the BWM Convention (resolution MEPC.252(67)).
The Guidelines and a number of other relevant guidance documents can be accessed here.

 

What are the requirements for approval of ballast water management systems?

In accordance with the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention), 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).

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). According to regulation A-1.7 of the BWM Convention, an Active Substance is a substance or organism, including a virus or a fungus, that has a general or specific action on or against harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens.

 

What are the requirements for testing bodies performing the test of ballast water management systems?

Both the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8) and Procedure for approval of ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances (G9) require that the testing body performing the test should have implemented appropriate quality control measures in accordance with recognized international standards (such as ISO/IEC 17025) acceptable to the Administration. All the tests should be carried out in accordance with internationally recognized guidelines. In the context of sample analysis of the organisms, Guidelines (G8) recommended that a non-exhaustive list of standard methods and innovative research techniques be considered. Suggested methods may include but not be limited to ISO standard methods, UNESCO standard methods, American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard methods, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency standard methods.

What are the main steps for certification and testing of ballast water management systems?

In accordance with the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8), the requirements related to certification and testing may be summarized as follows:

  1. The manufacturer of the equipment should submit information regarding the design, construction, operation and functioning of the ballast water management system. This information should be the basis for a first evaluation of suitability by the Administration.
  2. The ballast water management system should be tested for type approval; the testing body performing the tests should have implemented appropriate quality control measures acceptable to the Administration.
  3. The electrical and electronic section of ballast water management systems should be subjected to the programme of environmental tests set out in Guidelines (G8) at a laboratory approved for the purpose by the Administration.
  4. Successful fulfilment of the requirements and procedures for type approval should lead to the issuance of a Type Approval Certificate by the Administration.
  5. When a type approved ballast water management system is installed on board, an installation survey should be carried out.

It should be noted that type approval testing includes both shipboard testing and land-based testing. It is the Administration who decides the sequence of land-based testing and shipboard testing.

What are the requirements for submission of application for approval?

Approval of ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances should be proposed by the Member States. Manufacturers are advised to contact their national administrations for detailed requirements and procedures. Addresses are available at the "National Contacts" section of the IMO website. More information can be obtained from circulars updated prior to each meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee at www.imo.org/OurWork/Circulars.

 

Where can I find the information on the approved ballast water management systems?

Section 8 of Procedure (G9) requests IMO to record the Basic and Final Approval of Active Substances and Preparations and ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances and to circulate the list once a year. The latest version of the list can be found here. A list also containing information on ballast water management systems which have received type approval certification from their respective Administration can be viewed here.​​​​​​