Ballast Water Management Convention to enter in force in 2017


The IMO International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (“BWMC”) adopted in 2004 will finally come into force on 8th September 2017 following the deposit of the instrument of ratification by Finland.

The BWMC aims at halting the spread of invasive aquatic species into difference ecosystems threatening different ecosystems biodiversity with consequential economic loss. For this reason the BWMC will require all ships to implement a Ballast Water Management Plan and to carry a Ballast Water Record Book together with Ballast Water Management Procedures. Ballast Water Management Systems used to comply with the Convention must be approved by the Flag Administration of the respective ship taking into account the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8).

Future Challenges
Although the BWMC will come into force in less than a year, Shipowners face tough challenges since requirement for the installation of the BWMS differ from those established by the US Coast Guard (USCG) for ballast water systems.

Ratification by Malta
The uniform implementation of the BWMC and the approval and certification of modern ballast water treatment technologies will encourage countries to accede to this Convention in the near future. Malta is expected to ratify the BWMC in the coming months prior to its entry into force.

For further information on BWMC compliance feel free to contact our Environmental Specialists on