Ballast water management - new type approval standard applicable from 28 October 2020

This statutory news provides information about the new IMO type approval standard of ballast water management systems (BWMS) applicable for systems installed on or after 28 October 2020. In addition, you receive recommendations on how to handle BWMS installation of the old IMO G8 type approval standard if installed prior to 28 October 2020, but that the commissioning survey is on or after that date.

Ballast water management- Technical regulatory news no. 15

Relevant for ship owners and managers, as well as manufacturers.

1. The BWMS Code and effect on BWMS type approval

The BWMS Code was adopted by MEPC 72 and states that all BWMS that have a type approval according to the “old” G8 Guidelines adopted by Res. MEPC.174(58) may be installed on board a ship until 28 October 2020 (see definition of “installed” below). Later installations, on or after 28 October 2020, shall comply with the Res. MEPC.279(70) or the BWMS Code adopted by Res. MEPC.300(72) and shall have a type approval accordingly. 

This table summarizes the type approval references and the applicable installation due dates:

Type approvalDue date for installation
MEPC.174(58), ‘old’ Guidelines (G8)Prior to 28 October 2020
MEPC.279(70), 2016 Guidelines (G8)On or after 28 October 2020 
MEPC.300(72), BWMS CodeOn or after 28 October 2020

For conversions “installed” means the contractual date of delivery of the BWMS to the ship. In the absence of such a date, the word “installed” means the actual date of delivery of the ballast water management system to the ship. The reference for this definition is provided in BWM.2/Circ.66 Rev 1.

In case of doubts regarding the applicable installation date of a BWMS, please inform DNV GL by using our DATE service. This should be done in due time before installation of the BWMS and provided with appropriate documentation confirming the installation date.

2. BWMS Code and documentation to be on board

The following documentation should be verified to be onboard as a precondition to issue the IBWM certificate:

  • A copy of the Type Approval Certificate (TAC) of the BWMS
  • Operation, Maintenance and Safety manual of the BWMS
  • BWM plan
  • Installation specifications, e.g. installation drawing, piping and instrumentation diagrams
  • Installation commissioning procedures

3. Delays due to COVID-19

In case the installation or the commissioning survey of a BWMS must be postponed due to COVID-19 (e.g. manufacturer/supplier staff cannot get on board or enter the yard; the yard cannot deliver on time), please inform DNV GL by using our DATE service (Direct Access to Technical Experts). We will give advice and approach the flag administrations via our flag liaison officers accordingly, if needed.

For new buildings, the issue of an “unforeseen delay” is addressed in IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.7, see below for link to references.

DNV GL recommends that customers to review and act in line with the deadline on 28 October 2020 for on board installation of any BWMS having the old type approval according to Res. MEPC.174(58). Impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic shall be addressed by customers to the flag administration via DNV GL.


DNV GL recommends owners and managers reviewing and act in line with the deadline on 28 October 2020 for on board installation of any BWMS having the old type approval according to Res. MEPC.174(58). Impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic shall be addressed by customers to the flag administration via DNV GL.


Futher information from DNV GL:

Futher information from IMO and COVID-19 references:


  • For customers: DATE – Direct Access to Technical Experts via My Services on Veracity 
  • Otherwise: use our office locator to find the nearest DNV GL office.
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