Ballast water management

Ballast water management


BIMCO's position on "ballast water management" has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.


The Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention entered into force on 8 September 2017. Ships constructed before this date must in general terms comply by the first renewal survey for their International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPPC) following entry into force. Ships constructed on or after the entry into force date must be built to comply. 

The US Coast Guard’s (USCG) BWM Regulations entered into force on June 2012 and apply to new ships constructed on or after 1 December 2013 as well as to existing ships after their first dry-docking in 2014 or 2016 – subject to their ballast water holding capacity. 

BW exchange in a designated BW exchange area may result in delay and additional expense that will need to be allocated contractually between the parties to avoid possible disputes. 

BIMCO’s position

  •  An international BWM certificate should be sufficient initial evidence of compliance with the BWM convention. 
  •  There is a need to develop international, pragmatic, practical and harmonised testing procedures for samples of treated ballast water.
  •  Shipowners should not be liable for the time and costs of sampling and testing by port states or national administrations unless the ship is found to be in non-compliance with the BWM convention or other similar regulations.
  •  Sampling/testing of ballast water should not interfere with ships’ operations.
  •  When selecting a system, BIMCO advises shipowners to consider checking if the manufacturer’s service network cover the ship’s trading area.


Rasmus Nord Jorgensen
in Copenhagen, DK

Want to stay up-to-date?

Register for updates about

Receive emails when this topic is updated – you can choose how often.

Register Now


Chartering help & advice

This section contains a comprehensive source of information and guidance on chartering related matters. You will find invaluable information on many aspects of chartering distilled from our many years’ experience on advising members.

Learn about your cargo

For general guidance and information on cargo-related queries.

More about cargo

BIMCO Publications

Want to buy or download a BIMCO publication? Use the link to get access to the ballast water management guide, the ship master’s security manual and many other publications.