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

ballast water treatment equipment
24 Sep 2018
Fairplay looks at how shipowners have been and continue to be affected by the Ballast Water Management Convention.
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.
17 Nov 2016
Tanker scrapping will accelerate in the next several years as a result of a new deadline for meeting the IMO’s ballast water regulations, according to Drewry.
19 Oct 2016
The US Coast Guard has asked three ballast water equipment manufacturers to submit additional information to their pending applications which will likely delay a US type-approved system long-awaited by shipowners.
Ships older than 15 years are more likely to be scrapped.
10 Oct 2016
Shipowners already facing the worst-ever dry-bulk market face fresh headaches when new ballast water regulations come into force next September.


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.