Ballast Water Regulations and the Cost of Compliance

The Ballast Water Convention came into force on 8 September 2017, some 13 years after it was adopted at the IMO. The convention is aimed at stopping the spread of harmful aquatic organisms transferred in a vessel's ballast water. As of October 2018, 79 countries have ratified the convention, representing more than 80% of global shipping tonnage. Given that more than 40,000 ships will have to install ballast water treatment systems, shipowners and operators want insight into the cost and operational implications of complying with the convention.

News & Analysis

Capitol Hill
19 Nov 2018
Passage of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) likely occur before the end of 2018.
US Coast Guard inspects a ballast water sample
06 Jul 2016
California regulators are looking to close a gap in the state's ballast water management requirements with a proposal that would fine vessel operators USD27,000/day per violation.
ballast water being expelled
05 Jul 2016
With full USCG type approval expected in the third quarter, Optimarin believe that the end of USCG approval testing will mark an important evolutionary step for its business
Teresa Lloyd, CEO of Maritime Industry Australia Limited
13 Jun 2016
Australia will roll out a ballast water system under its new Biosecurity Act.
25 May 2016
Bunker tanker owners could avoid purchasing millions of dollars worth of equipment if the IMO expands the scope of exemptions within the Ballast Water Management Convention, a major lobbying group asserts.
 Jan Tilman (Van Oord), Isabel van der Star, and Dr Marcel Veldhuis (MEA-nl). Credit: Bert Visser
24 May 2016
For smaller vessels, the cost and space requirements for an infrequently used ballast water management system are not economically justifiable. Now Van Oord and Marine Eco Analytics (MEA-nl) have claimed a breakthrough by creating a system addressing those issues and they believe it could have industry-wide impact.


Power wielded by government regulators over the environmental issues to be discussed at MEPC 71 will be justified if shipowner investments can tackle the problems.