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 August 2018, 75 countries were party to the convention, representing more than 75% 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

19 Sep 2018
A predicted recovery in the next few weeks would mirror the rebound in 2016 when freight rates for VLCCs soared from about USD15,000/day to about USD64,000/day two months later. 
 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.
Ballast water organisms.
03 May 2016
A delay between treatment and discharge can allow for the regrowth of organisms and could result in a vessel failing the Port State Control test.


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.