Maritime Compliance: UK restricts Ballast Water discharge


( New laws have now come into force that will further protect United Kingdom coastlines by stopping international ships from discharging potentially harmful species into the sea.

The Merchant Shipping (Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments) Regulations 2022 introduces legislation into UK law controlling the discharge of ships’ ballast water into UK waters.

MCA representative mentioned, "Ballast water can contain aquatic species that are harmful to native UK ones and the legislation will stop ships from potentially releasing them onto our coasts".

By introducing the Ballast Water Management Convention into UK law, the UK coastline will be protected from harmful aquatic species and pathogens (e.g Chinese Mitten Crabs, Zebra Mussels, and Portuguese oysters) that may be present within the ballast water by UK and foreign-flagged ships entering the UK after traveling internationally.

This will help to prevent the introduction of species not yet present in the UK and make sure the colonies of those organisms that may already be present are not further supported by new introductions.

The new legislation put forward by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), is based on the international Ballast Water Management Convention which was negotiated at the International Maritime Organisation.

For more details, you can download below the relevant Guidance published by the MCA:



Source: UK MCA






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