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.
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.
20 Sep 2016
Optimarin became the first manufacturer to submit an application to the US Coast Guard for type-approval of its ballast water equipment and could become the first to offer a ballast water cleaning system certified for vessels trading in the US.
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.


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.