Ballast water management (BWM) and biofouling

DNV provides a range of class and advisory services to the ballast water industry for ship owners and ballast water management system manufacturers.

The Ballast Water Management Convention entered into force on the 8th of September 2017. DNV classification works to ensure the safe implementation of ballast water treatment requirements on board vessels. Because treatment systems are complex systems which can affect many aspects of the ship, the installation of a type-approved BWMS must be reviewed by class to ensure that the BWMS does not have an adverse effect on ship safety and to ensure compliance with the BWM Convention. 

Our ballast water management related class and statutory services include:

  • Approval of ballast water and biofouling management plans
  • Approval of BWMS installations and retrofits
  • IMO type approval of BWMS
  • USCG type approval testing of BWMS as an Independent Lab 
  • Approval of test facilities engaged in environmental, land-based and shipboard testing of BWMS

Our ballast water management related advisory services cover:

  • Safety assessment of ballast water treatment systems such as HAZID, HAZOP and FMECA assessments
  • Assistance in the development of a ballast water management plan (BWM Plan)
  • Feasibility assessments of ballast water treatment systems for ships, newbuildings, retrofits or conversions

Rely on our expertise for your ballast water and biofouling management and treatment technologies:

  • Profit from reliable advice based on expert testing and treatment solutions
  • Leverage our approval services, which assist you in achieving type approval from the USCG and the IMO
  • Gain sound, pragmatic advice for your BWMS retrofit or conversion project

Service tools and documents related to ballast water management:

DNV has developed useful documents to support smooth processes and compliance. Please find the list of downloads and links below.

In addition, we have developed a decision-making tool that helps ship owners choose the system most suitable for their ship and, most importantly, supports them in avoiding costly systems which are not compliant. We use the tool to perform quick assessments of treatment technologies for specific vessels on behalf of our customers. For more information on this tool, please email us at

More on Ballast Water Management


BWM and biofouling page

IMO requirements, type approval, USCG, BWMS retrofit and more


BWM Plan Generator (customers only)

Access via Class Status


Biofouling Management Plan Generator (customers only)

Access via Class Status