Invasive aquatic species present a major threat to marine ecosystems. With shipping identified as a primary path for harmful organisms to spread from one region to another, the IMO has introduced a new regulation: the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water & Sediments.
The BWM Convention entered into force on 8 September 2017.
What is the BMW Convention?
BWM is the International Convention for the control and management of ships' ballast water and sediments. It aims to stop the spread of invasive aquatic species by requiring ships to put in place management plans and treatment systems that remove organisms, render them harmless, or prevent their discharge into the sea.
Who must comply with BWM requirements?
The BWM applies to all ships designed or constructed to carry ballast water including submersibles, floating craft, floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs.
Ships of 400 GT and above are subject to surveys and certification, excluding floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs. However, as per BWM.2/Circ.46, Mobile Offshore Units should comply with the provisions of the Convention and should be surveyed and issued with an International Ballast Water Management Certificate.
For ships below 400 GT, floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs, some Flag States may decide such units to be surveyed and issued with International Ballast Water Management Certificate.