ballast water management

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments (BWMC), 2004 has been established and adopted by IMO aiming to protect the marine environment from the transfer of harmful organisms in ballast water carried by ships.

The BWMC, 2004 is coming into force on September 8, 2017 and you will need to manage the ballast water carried on board your ship through:

  • exchanging the ballast water; or
  • treating the ballast water using an approved system as per G8 of the Convention


The BWM Convention apply to all ships except:

  • ships not designed or constructed to carry ballast water
  • ships operating exclusively in waters under the jurisdiction of a Party, unless the party determines that the discharge of ballast water from such ships would impair or damage their environment
  • warships, naval auxiliary or other ships owned or operated by a Party
  • ships with permanent ballast water not subject to discharge.

All ships above 400 GT will be required by 8th of September 2017 to carry on board:

  • a “Ballast Water Management Plan” approved by the Administration,
  • a “Ballast Water Record Book” for the recording of each operation concerning ballast water management; and
  • an “International Ballast Water Management Certificate” with a five year validity and subject to annual, intermediate and renewal surveys.  For those flag States that have not ratified the Convention, Dromon will be issuing an “International Ballast Water Management Statement of Compliance”.

All ships must be installed with a Ballast Water Treatment System for the treatment of ballast water before discharged is made (i.e. Regulation D-2).  Refer to the implementation schedule below.


Exemptions from the management of ballast water may be granted to ships on voyages between specified ports or operated exclusively between specified ports or locations when ballast water is not mixed other than between these ports or locations. These exemptions shall be effective for a period not exceeding five years, subject to intermediate review.

Moreover, BWM.2/Circ.32, dated 8 August 2011, specifies that provisions of the Convention are not applicable to the water in the hopper area of hopper dredgers.

Implementation schedule

Our services

We can assist on the implementation of the BWMC, 2004 and finding the best solution for your ship.  Dromon can provide solutions on:

  • Choosing the best approved ballast water management system for your ship and assisting on retrofitting on board
  • Review and approval of ship specific ballast water management plans
  • Guide on the requirements of ballast water exchange and in particular design and constructions standards
  • Initial and periodical inspections as required by the Convention
  • Training through Dromon Academia Centre on the BWMC, 2004 background, requirements and methods to comply