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14 September 2016

RS: Ballast Water Management

8 September 2016 Finland acceded the IMO International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004, which was notified by the IMO Secretariat.

Finland became the 52nd contracting party with the combined tonnage of contracting States ships to the treaty to 35.1441%. Thus, prior to the Convention entry into force the countdown threshold has been reached, and the Convention will enter into force on 8 September 2017.

To avoid the uptake of invasive aquatic species into local ecosystems, the Convention prescribes the availability of special systems for ballast water treatment on board the ships (mechanical, chemical, biological treatment method) to ensure the required minimum concentration of viable unacceptable organisms and bacteria in discharged ballasted water in compliance with the ballast water performance standard D-2.

International Certificate of Ballast Water Management shall be issued subject to the practicable requirements of Convention:

  • observation on board the ship of ballast water exchange standard D-1 or ballast water quality standard D-2 (where the ballast water management system is available);
  • availability of Ballast Water Management Plan approved by the flag state Maritime Administration and Ballast Water Record Book.

Ballast Water Management System shall be approved by the flag state Maritime Administration or an authorized recognized organization with issuance of Type Approval Certificate in compliance with the IMO Guidelines for the Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8).

RS carried out type approval of ships ballast water management systems, review and approval of ships Ballast Water Management Plans. RS is authorized to perform surveys of ships for compliance with the Convention requirements on behalf of the Maritime Administration of the Russian Federation and Maritime Administrations of 42 countries. A complete list of RS may be familiarized with at

At present, the ballast water management systems of 12 companies have been surveyed and 84 Type Approval Certificates have been issued on behalf of the RF Maritime Administration.

Guidelines on Application of the Requirements of International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments, 2015, has been designed by the Register (hyperlink). RS-classed ships which comply with the requirements of Convention standard D-1 on safe exchange of ballast at sea are assigned an additional distinguishing mark BWM in the class notation.

RS recommends that all the shipowners should evaluate level of compliance with the Convention requirements on their ships, select an approved ballast water management system and develop the relevant technical documentation.

Reference:  Russian Maritime Register of Shipping is an internationally recognized classification society. RS was established in 1913. IACS member, recognised by the European Union and the Maritime Administrations of 70 flag states. RS mission is to facilitate the provision of safety of ships, floating installations and fixed offshore platforms, safety of human life at sea, security of goods to be transported, environmental pollution prevention. In compliance with Article 18 of the IMO international Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Waters and Sediments, 2004 will enter into force 12 months after at least 30 states, the merchant ships of which having the total gross tonnage of at least 35% of the worldwide merchant fleet capacity, become the parties thereof. The Convention specifies two ballast water treatment standards. The standard specified in D-1 regulation enables to conduct, whenever possible, ballast water exchange over 50 nautical miles from the nearest land and in water at least 200 metres in depth with an efficiency of at least 95 percent volumetric exchange of ballast water. The ballast water quality standard specified in D-2 regulation prescribes the minimum viable organisms which may be present in the ballast water subject to treatment using a special system mounted on a ship.

Established in 1913, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) is one of the leading classification societies. Recognised by the European Union. Member of IACS. The RS activity is aimed at enhancing high standards of maritime safety and minimising the negative impact of human activities on the environment through scientifically based risk assessment and risk management procedures.

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