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Web Alert: Australia’s New Ballast Water Management requirements

08 August 2016

Members are advised of recent developments concerning ballast water regulations in Australia. The Australian government has announced via the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that from 16 June 2016, new requirements for ships engaged in international voyages will be enacted under the auspices of the ‘Biosecurity Act 2015’.

A section of the ‘Biosecurity Act 2015’ concerns ballast water from ships on international voyages and has been so drafted as to ensure the implementation of the IMO’s ‘Ballast Water Management Convention’ (BWM Convention). Consequently, from 16 June 2016 Australia will authorise the use of ballast water management systems which have been type approved via the IMO type approval process, as well as the currently accepted methods of ballast water management such as the ballast water exchange. Vessels using a ballast water treatment system will need to carry an approved ballast water management plan and be surveyed and issued with a ‘Ballast Water Management Certificate’. These requirements match those in the BWM Convention.

Ballast Water Exchange Regulations

These new requirements also affect the manner in which ballast water exchanges may be conducted. From 16 June 2016, ballast water exchanges must conform to the following profile:

  • Take place outside 12nm from the nearest land. Transfers will not be permitted within 12 nm of the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef or part of the Torres Strait.

For full details of this regulation and its requirements please see the document on this page.