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. 
15 Sep 2016
Foreign shipowners looking to invest in ballast water treatment equipment certified for vessels trading in the US may have options available by as early as November.
Ballast water
12 Sep 2016
Vessels less than 10 years of age unlikely to pose an issue for their owners, but starting with the third special survey, the cost of the equipment becomes a cost consideration, says Arctic's Wikborg.
08 Sep 2016
Pressure on foreign shipowners looking to trade in the US with legal ballast water cleaning systems onboard their ships has significantly increased with the authorisation of a new international maritime treaty.
World Shipping Council president John Butler
19 Aug 2016
A coalition of maritime groups aims to convince the IMO to put back deadlines under the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention so owners can install second-generation cleaning systems.
Image of aquatic organisms
06 Aug 2016
Ballast water management systems (BWMS), put in place to prevent invasive aquatic organisms colonising Australia’s coastal waters, have not come without bugs of their own.


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.