IMO further pushes back Ballast Water Compliance Dates


The IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) finished up its 71st meeting with new resolutions on Ballast Water Management among others.

The most noteworthy resolution to emerge from MEPC 71 was a new implementation scheme for Ballast Water Management (BWM) requirements. The new plan requires compliance with the Ballast Water Management Convention standards at the first or second IOPP renewal survey after September 2017, subject to certain conditions. This will allow existing vessels to continue operating without a retrofitted ballast water treatment system until as late as 2024, depending upon the particular timeline of their IOPP surveys – up to two years later than previously allowed, and twenty years after the Convention was first adopted.

Please note:

  1. New ships requirement: Remains unchanged ie. built on or after 8 Sep. 2017 will need to have BWTS
  2. Existing ships requirement: Depending on last IOPP renewal survey dates as below:
    • Last IOPP renewal survey between 08 Sept 2014 and 07 Sep. 2017 -  the BWTS is required at the next IOPP renewal survey on or after 08 Sep. 2017
    • Last IOPP renewal survey between 08 Sept 2012 and 07 Sep 2014 -  the BWTS is required at the 2nd  IOPP renewal survey on or after 08 Sept. 2017
  3. Existing ships without IOPP surveys (oil tankers <150gt and other ships>400gt) – ships built before 8 Sept’17 must fit BWTS as decided by administration but not later than 8 Sept.2024.

This decision is set, and the uncertainty surrounding the implementation date is now resolved. The agreed text will be circulated soon, as an amendment to the Ballast Water Management Convention.

See below BWM implementation guideline graphs, courtesy of LR and DNVGL (click to enlarge).

Click on below image to enlarge:

Nevertheless, the USCG BWTS installation schedule remains unchanged as below ( subject to extensions under AMS):

  • On delivery for ships built after 1 Dec. 2013
  • 1st scheduled DD after 01 Jan 2014 for ships with BW capacity 1500-5000 cum
  • 1st scheduled DD after 01 Jan 2016 for ships with BW capacity <1500 and >5000 cum
Californian BWM RequirementsOur readers are reminded that the State of California has its own BWM standards, which will be even stricter than those of the USCG.  California’s “Interim Performance Standards” for BWM systems are due to come into effect on 1 January 2020.  A reminder notice has been disseminated by the California State Lands Commission on 30 December 2016 covering the existing reporting requirements for BWM that is found at:

Source: IMO


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