We have gathered everything you need to know about the IMO ballast water management convention in a quick guide.
This e-book will also show you when to start planning in order to be compliant by 2024...
Ballast water is used to maintain the vessel stability and to ensure vessel structural integrity.
As ships unload their cargo or move around heavy items onboard the vessel, ballast water is typically pumped in or transferred between tanks.
When water is then transported to other geographic areas, the discharge of ballast water in other ecological zones may result in the establishment of harmful aquatic organisms creating a detriment to the marine environment. This is globally recognized as a serious threat to the biological diversity and human health in general.
Ballast water is a threat to the marine environment due to the many marine species carried in ships’ and rigs’ ballast water.
The problem is caused by vessels taking in ballast water in one location and discharging ballast water in a new location. Ballast water from other locations will hold alien bacteria, microbes, small invertebrates, etc. Invasive species carried in ballast water may survive to establish a reproductive population in the new host environment. Alien species risk out-competing native species and they multiply into pest proportions.
Ballast water will continue to be an inevitable part of international shipping operations and offshore operations, but the aim of the recent ballast water rules is to limit the impact on marine life by controlling ballast water management.
The “US Coast Guard (USCG) Ballast Water Discharge Standard” requires all vessels (that need to discharge ballast water in US waters) to have a ballast water treatment system that is type approved by the USCG. The standard defined by USCG is almost the same as the IMO regulation. This USCG rule also require installation of type-approved treatment system prior to deballasting in US waters.
However, for vessel owners it is important to understand that many IMO type approved treatment systems fail to meet the USCG requirements. Only few systems have been approved by both the IMO and the USCG - one example of such system is the PureBallast 3.2 by Alfa Laval!