Following Finland's accession of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’
Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention), IMO has confirmed that the Convention will enter into force
on 8th of September 2017.
Finland's agreement is said to bring the combined tonnage of the Convention's 52 contracting states to 35.14% of the
world's merchant shipping fleet. The BWM Convention states that will enter into force 12 months after a minimum of
30 states, representing 35% of world merchant shipping tonnage had ratified the agreement.
"This is a truly significant milestone for the health of our planet," said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
The aim of the BWM Convention is to engage States to minimise and ultimately eliminate the transfer of harmful
aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of sea ballast water and sediments.
The BWM Convention apply to all ships except:
- ships not designed or constructed to carry ballast water
- ships operating exclusively in waters under the jurisdiction of a Party, unless the party determines that the
discharge of ballast water from such ships would impair or damage their environment
- warships, naval auxiliary or other ships owned or operated by a Party
- ships with permanent ballast water not subject to discharge.
All ships will be required by 8th of September 2017 to carry on board:
- a “Ballast Water Management Plan” approved by the Administration or the Recognized Organization (RO),
- a “Ballast Water Record Book” for the recording of each operation concerning ballast water management;
- an “International Ballast Water Management Certificate” with a five year validity and subject to annual,
intermediate and renewal surveys. For those flag States that have not ratified the Convention, will be issuing
an “International Ballast Water Management Statement of Compliance”.
All vessels must be installed with a Ballast Water Management System for the treatment of ballast water before
discharged is made. As per the IMO Resolution A.1088(28) a schedule has been implemented for the installation of
BWM treatment technology. This states that existing ships must be installed with a BWM treatment technology at the
“first IOPP renewal survey after the entry into force of the Convention”. Therefore existing ships must be retrofitted
with a BWM treatment technology at the first IOPP renewal survey after 8th of September 2017. For ships
constructed after the entry into force date, will have to be compliant on delivery.
Ship-owners / Managers are recommended to take action for the implementation of the Convention’s requirements.
Ship Owners / Managers must prepare and submit to Engineering Department the BWM Plan as soon as possible, to
avoid any problems or delays due to the submission of a great number of plans in the very close period to the entry
into force of the Convention.
In addition, survey department will start from January 2017 to conduct initial surveys and issue the applicable
certificate to the ship. An initial survey can be carried out on board after the BWM Plan has been reviewed and
approved on behalf of the flag State. In case the BWM Plan has not been reviewed and approved before the initial
survey, Engineering Department will be issuing a letter confirming that the BWM Plan has been received and is under
Ship owners / Managers must start considering the installation of a BWM treatment system on board their ships. In
any case, each ship must be installed with a BWM treatment system by the first IOPP survey after 8th of September
2017. In case a BWM treatment system is installed after the approval of BWM Plan, the Plan must be re-submitted to
Engineering Department for re-approval taking into account the installation of the treatment plant (i.e. Regulation D-