As a result of an appreciation of the harmful impact, sometimes at a cataclysmic level, that ballast water may have on the local environment, the IMO formulated the Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments 2004 (the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC)). As of this year, 79 countries worldwide have signed up to this convention – yet many vessel owners have not yet acted – why? Whilst the BWMC came into effect in 2017, it was then delayed by a two year extension granted by the IMO. As such, vessels that have already been built will be required to install a ballast water management system by their first International Oil Pollution Prevention renewal survey only as of September 2019. This survey is only required every five years however, so some vessels will not be obliged to install ballast water management systems until September 2024.
The question is – why wait? Many are mindful of the potential delays in the supply pipeline with a predicted tsunami on the cards as vessel owners rush to meet the 2024 deadline. This is teamed with precedent from across the pond, with the US now enforcing their requirements, with large penalties falling to those who do not comply.
Given this, it is only a matter of time until ship, barge or offshore support vessel owners need to act to avoid unnecessarily high ballast water treatment system costs or fines.
With the full process, from consultation and design to installation taking up to 9-12 months, the time to act is now. BWC are on hand to offer free advice and guidance, alongside our range of portable containerised or permanent deckhouse solutions.