On the 8th September 2017 the International Convention of the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) entered into force. With a few exceptions, it will apply to all ships in international trade beginning in 2017 and fully implemented in 2024.
Complex in parts, there are a number of conditions that officers must meet in order to avoid problems in relation to topics such as Port State inspections. In essence, existing ships MUST comply with the convention. This means that the ballast water must be exchanged on the journey if a treatment system is not installed.Vessels must also be equipped with a International Ballast Water Management Certificate (or statement of compliance) and an approved ship-specific Ballast Water Management Plan.
The first edition of Seagull Maritime’s onboard course “Ballast Water Management” was created back in 2004 and has been updated several times. It was last updated in 2017 to reflect the latest amendments to the BWM Convention before it entered into force. The objective of Seagull’s course is to familiarise the crew with the new rules, so that they can fully understand their obligations and actively comply with the training requirements.
Training crew members engaged in ballast water treatment and exchange will enable them to meet the ultimate goal of eliminating risks to the environment, human health, property and resources arising from a ship’s ballast water and sediments. It is important to remember that the ship’s Ballast Water Management Plan must always include training on BWM practices, systems and procedures.
Officers should also be familiar with different local requirements, such as the American special rules. Other essential requirements are that Masters and crews should be aware of the implementation and requirements of the convention with specific emphasis to the ship they serve on.
Read the Guide to Ballast Water Management: Seagull’s guide to BWM