A new guide to the Ballast Water Convention
In a few days, the Ballast Water Management Convention will enter into force. In future all new built ships must be equipped with a ballast water treatment system. For existing ships, systems must be installed as from 8 September 2019 to 8 September 2024.
The Convention shall ensure that no invasive species such as zebra mussels and the North American comb jellyfish are transported in the ballast water of the ships from waters in one region to another.
But the new rules are complex, and there are a number of conditions that officers have to cope with in order to avoid problems in relation with for example port state inspections. Today, existing ships must comply with the convention, and this means, for example, that the ballast water must be changed on the journey if a treatment system is not installed. The ships must also be equipped with a certificate and approved ship-specific ballast water management manual, and the officers must be familiar with different local requirements, such as the American special rules.
Therefore, Danish Shipping has prepared a guide - The Little Blue Book on Ballast Water – which should make it easier and more manageable to comply with the rules of the convention. The guide is intended to be on board the ships, so the crew can seek information when needed.
"We frequently receive questions from our members about how the convention will be implemented in practice. Since it is a wholly new legislation, there are a number of factors to which particular attention should be paid as well as many questions to be clarified. We have therefore made a brief and clear guide that helps the shipping companies to handle the task in order to avoid problems when inspected by the port authorities," says Per Winther Christensen, Head of Technical Affairs of Danish Shipping.
The project is supported by the Danish Maritime Fund and is being prepared by the consulting company Litehauz. The guide can be downloaded below and is widely available to both Danish and international shipping companies and authorities.