What are Surveys and certification under ballast water managements(BWM) convention?

  • All ships over 400 GT are subject to surveys and certification.
  • Ships below 400 GT will be subject to national survey and certification regimes.
  • The survey and certification scheme under the BWM Convention is similar to those of all other IMO conventions.
  • On completion of an initial survey, an International Ballast Water Certificate will be issued for a ship whose flag has ratified the BWM Convention; for other ships, a Ballast Water Management Certificate of Compliance will be issued. Both the Certificates and the Statement will be valid for five years subject to annual, intermediate and renewal surveys.
  • The IMO has published Interim Survey Guidelines (contained in the Circular, BWM.2/Circ.7) and it is expected that these will be incorporated into the IMO’s Harmonised System of Survey and Certification Guidelines (Resolution A.997(25)) once the BWM Convention enters into force. 
Survey And Certification Requirements For Ballast Water Management
  • Ships of 400 gross tonnage and above to which this Convention applies, excluding floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs, shall be subject to surveys specified below:
    1. An initial survey before the ship is put in service or before the Certificate required under regulation E-2 or E-3 is issued for the first time. This survey shall verify that the Ballast Water Management plan required by regulation B-1 and any associated structure, equipment, systems, fitting, arrangements and material or processes comply fully with the requirements of this Convention.
    2. A renewal survey at intervals specified by the Administration, but not exceeding five years, except where regulation E-5.2, E-5.5, E-5.6, or E-5.7 is applicable. This survey shall verify that the Ballast Water Management plan required by regulation B-1 and any associated structure, equipment, systems, fitting, arrangements and material or processes comply fully with the applicable requirements of this Convention.
    3. An intermediate survey within three months before or after the second Anniversary date or within three months before or after the third Anniversary date of the Certificate, which shall take the place of one of the annual surveys specified in paragraph 1.4. The intermediate surveys shall ensure that the equipment, associated systems and processes for Ballast Water Management fully comply with the applicable requirements of this Annex and are in good working order. Such intermediate surveys shall be endorsed on the Certificate issued under regulation E-2 or E-3.
    4. An annual survey within three months before or after each Anniversary date, including a general inspection of the structure, any equipment, systems, fittings, arrangements and material or processes associated with the Ballast Water Management plan required by regulation B-1 to ensure that they have been maintained in accordance with paragraph 9 and remain satisfactory for the service I:\CONF\BWM\36.DOC BWM/CONF/36 ANNEX Page 25 for which the ship is intended. Such annual surveys shall be endorsed on the Certificate issued under regulation E-2 or E-3.
    5. An additional survey either general or partial, according to the circumstances, shall be made after a change, replacement, or significant repair of the structure, equipment, systems, fittings, arrangements and material necessary to achieve full compliance with this Convention. The survey shall be such as to ensure that any such change, replacement, or significant repair has been effectively made, so that the ship complies with the requirements of this Convention. Such surveys shall be endorsed on the Certificate issued under regulation E-2 or E-3. 2
Exemptions 
  • An exemption may be granted to a ship or ships on a voyage or voyages between specified ports or locations, or to a ship which operates exclusively between specified ports or locations. An example of a ship that would qualify for this exemption would be a ferry trading solely between one or more ports.
  • Any exemption granted is valid for a maximum of five years subject to an intermediate review and provided the ship does not mix ballast water or sediments other than between the ports or locations specified in the exemption. However it should be noted that the exemptions can be withdrawn at any time by the issuing administrations.
  • To be eligible for an exemption a risk assessment must be carried out in accordance with IMO Resolution MEPC.162(56)
  • Guidelines for Risk Assessment under Regulation A-4 of the BWM Convention. For further details on exemptions, you should contact the flag administration.
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