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January 2004

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Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water to Minimize the Transfer of Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens, 1998 Edition (I661E)

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These guidelines are intended to assist Governments and appropriate authorities, ship masters, operators and owners, port authorities, and other interested parties in minimising the risk of introducing harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens from ships’ ballast water and associated sediments while protecting ships’ safety.


This publication consists of resolution A.868(20), adopted in November 1997.

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The IMO Assembly in 1997, by resolution A.868(20), adopted the Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ ballast water to minimize the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens, as set out herewith. The resolution further requests Governments to take urgent action in applying these new Guidelines, including their dissemination to the shipping industry, and to use them as a basis for any measures they adopt with a view to minimizing the risks mentioned above. Governments are requested to report to the MEPC on any experience gained in implementing these Guidelines, taking into account the Committee’s ongoing work in developing legally binding provisions on ballast water management.

1.             Introduction
2.             Definitions
3.             Application
4.             Guideline objectives and background
5.             Dissemination of information
6.             Training and Education
7.             Procedures for ships and port states
8.             Recording and reporting procedures
9.             Ships operational procedures
10.           Port State considerations
11.           Enforcement and monitoring by Port States
12.           Future considerations
13.           Ballast system design
Appendix 1             
Ballast water reporting form
Appendix 2 
Guidance on safety aspects of ballast water exchange at sea


A​​s a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.  

In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. And IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.

Title: Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water to Minimize the Transfer of Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens, 1998 Edition (I661E)
Number of Pages: 16
Product Code: 4410M004
ISBN: ISBN 13: 9789280114546, ISBN 10: 9280114549
Published Date: January 2004
Weight: 0.11 kg
Author: IMO

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