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2017 July 17

RS about BWM Convention

The IMO Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC 2004) will enter into force on 8 September 2017. Vladimir Shurpyak, Senior Principal Surveyor of the RS Machinery Department, tells IAA PortNews about its meaning for ship owners in actual practice.

- Mr Shurpyak, could you please summarize the Convention?

- For minimization of risks associated with the transfer of potentially harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens, the Convention prescribes the availability of special systems for ballast water treatment on board the ships (mechanical, chemical, biological treatment method) to ensure the required minimum concentration of viable unacceptable organisms and bacteria in discharged ballasted water in compliance with the ballast water performance standard D-2. Apart from D-2, where the ballast water management system is available, the standard specified in D-1 regulation enables to conduct ballast water exchange at certain distance from the nearest land.  

- Which ships are covered by the BWM Convention?

- The Convention covers all vessels, regardless of their type or building date, that are designed or constructed to carry ballast and that can sail under the flag of the state which signed the Convention or operated under those states’ authority.

The Convention shall not apply to warships and ships with permanent ballast water as well as to ships which only operate in waters under the jurisdiction of states that signed the Convention unless the state determines that the discharge of ballast water from such ships would impair or damage their environment.

- Which documents confirm compliance of ships with the Convention?

- They are the International Ballast Water Management Certificate confirming compliance with the D-2 or D-1 standard…; Ballast Water Record Book and Ballast Water Management Plan approved by the Maritime Authority…

- IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee discussed the implementation dates for the D-2 standard in early July. Could you, please tell about it.

- According to earlier implementation scheme, the deadline for compliance with the D-2 standard was set on the first MARPOL IOPP renewal survey after September 8, 2017. 

However, the latest session of IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71) held from July 3 to 7, 2017 discussed and approved a revised implementation scheme for ships to comply with the D-2 standard so that the shipping companies could be thoroughly and efficiently prepared for fitting their vessels with Ballast Water Management systems.

Under the approved scheme, ships constructed on or after September 8, 2017 are to comply with the D- 2 standard on or after September 8, 2017 while ships constructed before September 8, 2017, are to comply with the D-2 standard at the first MARPOL IOPP renewal survey completed on or after September 8, 2019 (Reg B-3/10.1.1); or September 8, 2017, in the event a MARPOL IOPP renewal survey is completed during the period on or after September 8, 2014 and prior to September 8, 2017 (Reg B-3/10.1.2).

- What should be taken into consideration when selecting a Ballast Water Management system?

- When fitting a ship with a Ballast Water Management system it is necessary to make sure that there is enough space for the system and its pipelines, that ship's electric powerplant is powerful enough, that ballast pumps ensure required pressure. If the space is not sufficient for a Ballast Water Management system, some alternatives can be considered like placement of a BWMS in a container on the deck or in a cargo tank, which will decrease the ship’s cargo capacity.

The list of Ballast Water Management systems that make use of active substances which received IMO approval is available in the document BWM.2/Circ.34/rev.4.

RS offers type approval of Ballast Water Management Systems, review and approval of Ballast Water Management Plans. As of today, the ballast water management systems of 13 companies have been surveyed and 85 Type Approval Certificates have been issued on behalf of the RF Maritime Administration. This information is available at the official website of Russian Railways in the Type Approval Certificates  section.

- Let’s summarize, what should a ship owner do in view of BWM Convention coming into effect? Are there any guidelines?

To help ship owners, RS has developed Guidelines on Application of the Requirements of International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments. The describe the procedures for approval of Ballast Water Management Plans, Ballast Water Management Systems, the scope of BWMS testing survey as well as BWMS specifications in compliance with BWMC requirements. The Guidelines are available at the website of Russian Maritime Register of Shipping >>>>

I would add that RS is authorized to perform surveys of ships for compliance with the Convention requirements on behalf of the Maritime Administration of Maritime Administrations of 50 countries including the Russian Federation.

Contributed by RS press center.