Ballast Water Management Convention Now in Force for Existing Vessels – North Publishes New Guidance


The IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention entered into force in 2017 but at that time it applied only to new vessels. But a new milestone is now upon us – the Convention will apply to existing vessels from 8 September 2019.

From this date, existing vessels have up until its next IOPP Certificate renewal survey to comply. This effectively means that vessels whose keel were laid before 8 September 2017 are likely to need to install an approved ballast water treatment system (BWTS) at some point between 8 September 2019 and 8 September 2024, depending the date of IOPP certificate renewal.

New vessels have been complying with the ballast water regulations for the last two years with little fuss. There is a big difference, however, between installing a BWTS during newbuild and retrofitting a system on an existing vessel. On an existing vessel, such a system would not have been considered at time of original build and no dedicated space would have been allocated.

See our new guidance on complying with ballast water regulations here:

Part 1 looks at the regulatory landscape.

Part 2 considers the different treatment systems available.

Part 3 focuses on the potential operational and commercial impacts.