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Ballast Water Management – How to comply with the IMO Convention

With the ratification of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention on 8 September 2016, the convention will enter into force on 8 September 2017. With only some months to go, this Technical & Regulatory News is intended as a supporting document for the BWM implementation phase, focusing on compliance.

Relevant for ship owners/managers, shipyards, suppliers, design offices and flag states.


With the International Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention ratified and shortly entering into force, there is no time to lose up to 8 September 2017. There are two main milestones to be aware of:

  • D-1 – Ballast Water Management Plan (BWMP): an approved BWMP and a BWM Certificate or Statement/Certificate of Compliance must be on board the vessel before 8 September 2017, hence an early submission for approval is recommended to avoid last-minute approval
  • D-2 – The deadline for installation of the ballast water treatment system is the first IOPP renewal survey after 8 September 2017

Ship owner check list:

The most important tasks for a ship owner/operator to do in the short term – in order of priority:

☑ Identify the vessels subject to the BWM Convention

☑ Investigate if an approved BWMP for the approved ballast water exchange process is already prepared and on board (if not, see below)

☑ Establish an overview of IOPP renewal dates for your fleet, and decide on a schedule for implementation

☑ Confirm any uncertainties/questions you might have with class and/or the relevant flag

Then, after these urgent issues have been solved, some other key activities for the remaining of 2017:

☑ Prepare and submit your BWMP

☑ Order and perform the initial survey (in due time before 8 September 2017)

☑ Make sure mandatory documentation (BWMP and International BWM Certificate or Statement/Certificate of Compliance) is in place before 8 September 2017

☑ Assess and choose treatment technology based on feasibility for your fleet

☑ Plan your retrofit, and ensure relevant documents are forwarded to class as early as possible

The remainder of this document – as an appendix (see PDF version, page 3 - 6) – is organized as follows (click on heading to get to the relevant sections):

  1. BWM Convention – Applications and requirements
    a. Vessels/units covered by the BWM Convention
    b. Exemptions from the convention
  2. Requirements of the convention
    a. D-1 and D-2 standards
    b. US Coast Guard requirements
  3. Approval of Ballast Water Management Plan and installation of treatment systems
    a. D-1 standard (BWMP)
    b. D-2 standard – fleet in service (existing ships)
    c. D-2 standard – newbuilding
  4. BWM surveys
    a. D-1 survey
    b. D-2 survey
  5. BWM certification
  6. Retroactive requirements (RR)
  7. De-coupling of the IOPP Certificate (de-harmonization of HSSC)
    a. Considerations
    b. IOPP Certificate
    c. IOPP Certificate Technicalities
  8. Health and safety issues during surveys of ballast water tanks


See details to the content above in the PDF version, pages 3 to 6.


Further information including guidelines, brochure and FAQs can be found on the DNV GL website:


  • For customers: DATE – Direct Access to Technical Experts via My DNV GL
  • Otherwise: Use our office locator to find the nearest DNV GL maritime office

Download the full statutory news

2-page PDF

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