UK MCA updates ballast water management FAQs

by 29, Oct, 2020Innovation

Has the UK ratified the BWM Convention?

  • The UK has not yet ratified the Convention however, the UK regulatory package has been drafted and the Government remains committed to acceding to the Convention and implementing it into UK law.
  • Whilst accession and implementation was scheduled for 2020 it has been decided to delay the launch of the consultation to allow industry to focus on maintaining the flow of essential goods during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The public consultation will be launched on as soon as possible.

Do I need to fit a Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS)?

  • The UK recognises all ballast water management systems that have been issued with a statutory IMO Type Approval certificate in accordance with the BWM Convention and BWMS Code by a UK approved Recognised Organisation. The proposed Regulations will recognise statutory IMO Type Approval certificates issued by any of the following organisations: ABS Europe Ltd, Bureau Veritas, DNV GL, Lloyd’s Register, RINA Services S.p.A.
  • A ballast water management system type approved to the relevant IMO standards issued by an organisation listed above will be accepted for installation on UK flagged vessels. It should be noted that a statutory IMO type approval is different from a class type approval, and class type approval certificates for ballast water treatment systems will not be accepted to allow equipment to be installed on UK ships. Owners are advised to contact the relevant organisation to ascertain Class requirements for the fitting of BWMS.

Can Ballast Water Exchange (BWE) be undertaken in UK Waters?

  • Ships entering UK controlled waters will be expected to have carried out BWE as per the Convention requirements.
  • Ships which, due to operational reasons, are not able to undertake BWE are still required to manage their ballast water in order to meet the requirements of the Convention. This may mean managing the ballast to the D2 standard earlier than required to do so by the Convention implementation schedule, using an Other Method or looking at the use of an exemption or exception in order to be compliant.

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October 2020