Applicability: All shipowners and operators

Further to Class News 30/2016. The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (the Ballast Water Management Convention) will enter into force on 8 September 2017.

What does this mean for you?

If the Convention applies to your vessel(s)*, please arrange for attendance to confirm compliance at the earliest opportunity.

If your vessel is registered with one of the following flags, please contact your local Lloyd’s Register office to arrange for BWM certification to be issued to the vessel prior to attendance.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man
  • Latvia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • UK

By 8 September 2017, all ships (i.e. vessels of any type operating in the aquatic environment, including submersibles, floating craft, floating platforms, floating storage units (FSUs) and floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units) will be required to:

  • have an approved ballast water management plan (BWMP) on board,
  • maintain a ballast water record book,
  • manage their ballast water on every voyage by performing ballast water exchange (or by treating it using an approved ballast water treatment system), and
  • undertake an initial survey and be issued with an International Ballast Water Management Certificate (for ships of 400 gross tonnage and above to which the Convention applies, excluding floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs). Ships that are registered with flag administrations that are not yet a party to the Convention will need to demonstrate compliance and may wish to undergo surveys and be issued with a document of compliance.

The Flag Administrations listed above have authorised Lloyd’s Register to issue a Ballast Water Management Certificate to ships which comply with the Convention (i.e. possess a record book and BWMP), prior to attending the vessels, for a limited time period to allow owners to arrange a survey to confirm compliance and issue the full term.

At a later date, ships will also be required to:

  • manage their ballast water on every voyage by treating it using an approved ballast water treatment system. See Class News 16/2017 for further details.

*Please note that the Convention does not normally apply to:

  • ships not carrying ballast water,
  • domestic ships,
  • ships that only operate in waters under the jurisdiction of one party and on the high seas,
    warships, naval auxiliary or other ships owned or operated by a state (although states are encouraged to adopt appropriate measures to ensure that the ships act in a manner consistent with the Convention), or
  • permanent ballast water in sealed tanks on ships, which is not subject to discharge.

For further information

For more information on the Ballast Water Management Convention, see the IMO website

For more information on the US Ballast Water Management requirements, see Class News 18/2017.

Lloyd’s Register guidance on ballast water management is available here.

Alternatively, speak to one of our experts at your local Lloyd’s Register Group office or – for information on implementation