News: Ballast water management (update)
24 September 2019
As highlighted previously in the club’s regulation update, the ballast water management convention (BWMC) entered the second phase of its implementation from 8 September 2019.
After BWMC entry into force on 8 September 2017, the ships trading on international voyages had to comply with the D-1 standard (ballast water exchange (BWE) requirement). However, these ships will now have to conform to the D-2 standard, ie install a ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) at the next IOPP renewal survey, between 8 September 2019 and September 2024.
Although the US have adopted a standard similar to the IMO’s D-2 standard, these two are not identical. Both regimes require a mandatory type-approval testing, but there is a difference between the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the IMO’s requirements to prove that a BWTS meets the discharge standards.
While IMO’s discharge standard in regulation D-2 of the BWMC refers to 'non-viable' organisms (ie those who cannot survive the transition or are unable to reproduce in the new environment), the USCG regulation requires that any organism dumped into US waters are already dead.
For ships that are yet to comply with the D-2 standard, the USCG has issued Maritime Safety Information Bulletin (attached on the right) as a list of voluntary best management practices in the Caribbean in order to assist in reducing the risk of spreading Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) through the region.
The best management practices encourage the use of BWTS, if installed, or voluntarily conduct ballast water exchange in accordance with the D-1 standard of the BWMC and the Guidelines for ballast water exchange and sediment management in the Wider Caribbean Region Area (MEPC 73/INF.3).
The MSIB also provides guidance on the mandatory practices associated with the discharge of ballast water from vessels required to conduct a Ballast Water Exchange (BWE) under US Regulations.
Members are reminded to comply with the updated ballast water management practices in accordance with these guidelines.