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

USCG's Jeff Lantz
24 Sep 2018
Proposal seeking assurances on compliant fuel availability is not yet supported by the US Coast Guard.
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.
Onboard ballast water treatment system.
13 Jul 2016
Appeals from four ballast water cleaning manufacturers to use an alternative method for testing their ultraviolet (UV) light-based equipment have been denied by the US Coast Guard.
US Coast Guard inspects a ballast water sample
06 Jul 2016
California regulators are looking to close a gap in the state's ballast water management requirements with a proposal that would fine vessel operators USD27,000/day per violation.
ballast water being expelled
05 Jul 2016
With full USCG type approval expected in the third quarter, Optimarin believe that the end of USCG approval testing will mark an important evolutionary step for its business


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.