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11 May 2021
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The Ballastwaterconvention is in force as of 8 september 2017 and is applicable to all ships, which are carrying ballastwater. These ship need to have a certificate, an approved management plan and a ballastwater record book on board.

The purpose of the Ballastwater convention is to prevent the introduction of alien or new species in the aquatic environment. These species are being carried on board of sea-going vessels in the ballastwater and may be harmful to the aquatic environment. Ships will have to treat their ballastwater or will have to prevent in another way the transport of species.


The convention is not applicable for:
• Ships without ballasttanks
• Ships who take on and discharge ballastwater in the same location/port area
• Ships who do not make international voyages

Ballastwater exchange

As of 8 September 2017 ships will have to exchange their ballastwater during the voyage, if no BWTS is installed (D1 standard). Exchange has to be performed according the regulations of the convention; for the North Sea a special area is designated. Ship do not have to deviate of their course or have undue delay. This must be demonstrable and duly noted in the ballastwater record book.

Ballastwater treatment

New ships (keel laid) must have a ballastwater treatment plant on board as of 8 September 2017. The date of which existing ships must have a plant on board is depending on the IOPP renewal date.

Enforcement by Port State Control

On the 8 September 2017 PSC enforced the regulations according the procedures made by Paris MOU.


The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate has a handy Q&A for more information.

An inspector boards a container ship

More information? Contact:

Harbour Coordination Centre
Harbour Coordination Centre