Ballast Water Management Convention

The Convention will enter into force on September 8, 2017 and is applicable to all ships that are designed and constructed to carry ballast water. These ships shall carry a certificate, an approved management plan and a Record Book on board.

Certificate, Plan and Record Book

The certification has been delegated to the recognised Classification Societies. They will issue the ballast water management certificate (IBWMC), and assess the management plans.


The Convention is not applicable to:

  • ships that have no ballast tanks
  • ships that take in and discharge ballast water on the same location
  • ships that do not make international voyages

Ballast water exchange

Starting from September 8, 2017 ships will have to exchange ballast water during the voyage, if no treatment system is installed. Apart from the conditions of the Convention, ballast water exchange areas for the North Sea region have been designated.

Ballast water treatment

New ships are required to have a treatment system installed from September 8, 2017. The date on which existing ships are required to have a treatment system is coupled to the expiry date of the IOPP Certificate.

Enforcement, Port State Control

Starting from 8 September 2017 enforcement will be carried out by ILT. This will be done according to the Paris MOU procedures.

Ballast Water Management Convention, purpose

The purpose of the Ballast Water management Convention is the prevention of the introduction of alien invasive organisms in the marine environment. These organisms are carried in ballast water on board of ships and may survive in the host environment where they can cause significant changes and damage. This process is irreversible. Ships will have to treat their ballast water or otherwise prevent the transfer of alien species.