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16/09/2015

BIMCO

BIMCOsPosition
TheBallastWaterManagement(BWM)Conventionwill,whileestablishingagloballegislativeregimetocontrolthe
discharge of ballast water and in particular the discharge of invasive species into the sea, require shipowners to
installexpensivemanagementandtreatmentsystemsandtrainpersonneltousethem.
The IMO has adopted an Assembly Resolution on the application of the BWM Conventions implementation
schedule.TheResolutionrevisesthecompliancedatescontainedintheConventiontobecomerelativetoitsfuture
unknownentryintoforcedate.BIMCOappreciatesthepragmaticrevision,however,remainsconcernedthatitmay
stillnotgivesufficienttimetoimplementalloftherequirementsoftheBWMConventioninpractice.
TheIMOguidelinesforapprovalofballastwatertreatmentsystems(G8guidelines)needstrengtheningtoensure
that acquired systems are fit for worldwide use and compliant performance is possible under real operating
conditions.
ItistheviewofBIMCOthattheBWMConventionshouldnotenterintoforceuntilsuchtimethatnecessarychanges
tothiseffecthavebeenadopted.
TheBWMConventionextraordinarilycallsforsamplingofshipsballastwaterduringportstateinspections.BIMCO
however believes that Port states should accept a ships International BWM Certificate as evidence that its
equipmentfulfilstherequirementsoftheConvention.
TheworkofIMOonthesamplingandportstatecontrolguidelinesshouldgivedueregardtotheG8guidelinesand
their stringency and robustness. Additional measures necessary to ensure compliant operation of treatment
systems should obviously be reflected in a more rigorous type approval procedure rather than enforcement
measures,whichgobeyondtheoriginaltestingregimeoftheequipment.
SamplingandtestingbyPortStatesorNationalAdministrationsshouldbecostneutralforshipowners,unlessthe
shipisfoundnottobeincompliancewiththeBWMConventionorothersimilarregulations.
BIMCOfindsthatindicativetestingandanalysisobtainedduringportstatecontrolorotherinspectionscanonlybe
usedasameansofscreeningfordetailedanalysis.Morestringenttestingisneededtodeterminewhetherornota
shipisincompliancesincetheconfidencelevelofanyindicativeanalysisislowcomparedwithadetailedanalysis
asdescribedintheIMOguidelines.
Bringing the IMO Ballast Water Convention into force before US type approved treatment systems are available
wouldputshipownersinanuntenablepositionastheywouldberequiredtofirstfitanIMOtypeapprovedsystem,
onlytosoonafterpotentiallyberequiredtofitaUStypeapprovedsystem,whenitbecomesavailable.
BIMCO calls on equipmentmakers and governments to work together to ensure common sense prevails to
ensure US typeapproved ballast water management systems are available to ship owners when the IMO Ballast
WaterConventioncomesintoforce.

Discussion
Onmostships,useofballastwaterisanindispensablepartofsafeoperation.Insomecircumstancesballastwater
is capable of transporting invasive species around the world. To address that issue the BWM Convention was
adoptedinIMOin2004.Ithas,however,notyetenteredintoforce.
The IMO member states have adopted an IMO Assembly Resolution on the Application of the International
ConventionfortheControlandManagementofShips'BallastWaterandSedimentstoeaseandfacilitateasmooth
and pragmatic implementation of the Convention. It is a recommendation and thus not legally binding for
signatoriesnorotherIMOMemberStates.WefinditunlikelythatanyIMOmemberstateswouldapplytheoriginal
Convention text instead of the revised schedule specified in the Assembly Resolution, given the unanimity of the
adoptionoftheResolutionandlackofanycommentsorreservations.
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16/09/2015

BIMCO

TheConventionwillcomeintoforce12monthsafterthedateonwhich30IMOmemberstates,representing35%
of the worlds tonnage, ratify it. So far, the main obstacles for ratification seem to be a lack of approved and
proven technologies with a good track record and, specifically for EU countries a lack of a harmonised testing
procedureforBWMsystems.
AccordingtotheIMO,theBWMConventionhas44countriesassignatoriesrepresenting32.86%oftheworldfleet
tonnage.Theremaining2.14%maybemetbythefollowingcountries:Argentina,Indonesia,Philippines,Belgium
andFinland(withanaggregateofmorethan2%oftheworldfleettonnage)haveconfirmedthattheirratification
processisinprogress.
Thus it seems likely that the BWM Convention could be ratified by states, having sufficient tonnage to pass the
tonnagethreshold,during2015andsubsequentlyenterintoforcein2016.
The interpretation of the sampling and port state control procedures by some administrations suggests a lack of
confidence in the approval process using the G8 guidelines. The uncertainty with regards to compliance and
enforcement remains a considerable barrier to implementation of systems on board ships and ratification of the
Conventionbygovernments.
The MEPC 67 has agreed to fasttrack a revision of the G8 typeapproval guideline. It has further agreed to
consider grandfathering of equipment approved according to the present guidelines with a view to not unduly
penalizeshipowners,whohaveinstalledsuchequipmentandareoperatingitingoodfaith.
MEPC 67 further agreed to a guideline for sampling and analysis for Port State Control and communicated its
decisionsviaanMEPCResolution.
BIMCOiscontinuouslyupdatingalistofpossiblefutureamendmentsaimingatmakingtheBWMConventionmore
practicable for the industry. In due course after the entry into force of the BWM Convention, proposals may be
submittedtotheIMObasedonthelist.
InaccordancewithIMOguidance,anindicativeanalysisisacompliancetestthatisarelativelyquickmeasurement
of a representative sample of the ballast water. The purpose of an indicative analysis is to quickly determine a
roughestimationofthenumberofviableorganismsduringballastwaterdischarge.Theinaccuracymeansthatan
indicative analysis cannot be used as a definitive measure to legally determine compliance with the BWM
Convention. An indicative analysis should only be used to establish clear grounds for further investigation of a
potentialnoncompliance.Onlythemoredetailedanalysisshouldbeusedasabasisforlegalcasesagainstships.
ItisestimatedthatfromthetimetheConventionentersintoforceanduptotheclosureofthecompliancewindow
byaround2021,morethan50,000shipswillhavetoberetrofittedwithBWMsystemsatpotentiallyhugecostto
shipownersduetoe.g.additionalpowerrequirementsandneedforpiperedimensioning.Purchaseandinstallation
ofBWMsystems(BWMS)arecurrentlyestimatedtoinvolvecostsrangingfromUSD50,000toaboveUSD5million
pership.

Table 1 Installation schedule for the systems in accordance with the IMO resolution (In case the Convention
comesintoeffecton/after2015butnotlaterthan31December2016)

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BIMCO

IOPPistheInternationalOilPollutionPreventionCertificate.

USBallastWaterStandard
The US Coast Guard (USCG) published its final rule on Ballast Water Management for Control of Nonindigenous
SpeciesinWatersoftheUnitedStateson23March2012.TheUSCGRegulations33CFRPart151and46CFRPart
162enteredintoforceon21June2012andapplytonewshipsconstructedonorafter1December2013aswellas
toexistingshipsbytheirfirstdrydockingafter2014or2016dependingontheirBWcapacity.
Table2InstallationscheduleinaccordancewithUSCGRegulations

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BIMCO

To address the US implementation schedule for BWMS for dates prior to 2015, the USCG has introduced an
Alternate Management System (AMS) acceptance for some IMO type approved systems. Ships with an AMS
installed are grandfathered for a period of five years beyond their USCG compliance date. USCG type approvals
arenotlikelytobeissuedbeforemedio2015.ItshouldbenotedthatanAMSacceptanceisinnowaylinkedtothe
prospectofafutureUSCGtypeapproval.
Further,theUSCGfinalrulegivestheCoastGuardtherighttograntanextensiontotheimplementationschedule
in cases where the master, owner, operator, agent, or person in charge of a ship can document that despite all
efforts to meet the ballast water discharge standard requirements, compliance is not possible. Any extension
request must be made no later than 12 months before the scheduled implementation date listed in the US
regulation.
InSeptember2013theUSCGpublishedaPolicyLetter1301onExtensionofImplementationScheduleforVessels
Subject to Ballast Water Management (BWM) Discharge Standards providing information and guidance to
owners/operators on how to submit an extension request to the USCG. Late December 2013 a policy letter
published by USCG and EPA together has created uncertainty about extensions. This new policy letter simply
establishesalowenforcementprioritybyEPAwithregardtotheEPAsVesselGeneralPermit(VGP)provisions.In
spiteofthispolicyletter,theshipwouldtechnicallybenoncompliantwiththeVGPregulations.Theinconsistency
between the BWM regulation and the VGP can cause uncertainty and misinterpretation by the various industry
stakeholders. The consequences of this policy letter also includes the risk for shipowners to become subject to
citizensuitsintheUS,potentialnoncoverdecisionsbyP&Iclubsforfines/penaltiesfornoncomplianceaswellas
legal fees in this context among others. The situation is not clear and work is ongoing to ensure a safe route
aheadforowners.
The numerical values of the discharge standards in the US remain identical to those of the BWM Convention
however the qualitative criteria on elimination is different. IMO sets limits for organisms that are viable whereas
theUSsetslimitsfororganismsthatareliving.ThisinconsistencyremainstobeaddressedbytheUSauthorities.
The USCG is bound by law to review the practicability of implementing a higher and more stringent ballast water
dischargestandardandpublishthereviewresultsnolaterthan1January,2016.

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BIMCO

It is now confirmed that the first three Ballast Water Management Systems manufacturers have submitted their
officialapplicationtotheUSCGfortypeapprovaloftheirproducts.
26.06.15

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