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.
Image of an Alfa Laval ballast water system
28 Dec 2016
Alfa Laval is the second company to secure approval from the USCG for a ballast water system
12 Dec 2016
Containerships of less than 2,999 teu will be most susceptible to early scrapping once the Ballast Water Management Convention goes into force next year, according to investment bank JP Morgan.
12 Dec 2016
A last-ditch effort in the US to pass a bill that would have kept individual states from adopting tighter ballast water discharge standards has been unsuccessful.
Image of ballast inspection.
05 Dec 2016
The availability of a US-type approved ballast water management system means vessel operators must be more diligent in proving they are still unable to comply with US regulations.
02 Dec 2016
A milestone for ballast water equipment compliance was reached on 2 December when regulators certified equipment for shipowners trading in the United States.


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.