Shipmaster’s Ballast Water Management Manual, Version 2.0

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Published Date

March 2020

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Shipmaster’s Ballast Water Management Manual, Version 2.0

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This publication guides readers on all aspects of ballast water management, from the fundamentals of IAS spread in marine environments to the development of familiarisation and operational plans. It guides readers on effective use of their company SMS, ensuring full compliance with BWM Convention and US regulations.

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This publication provides a practical overview of US ballast water regulations and the relevant circulars and guidelines associated with them. The ballast water management compliance checklist helps to ensure relevant aspects of BWM have been covered on the ship. In situations such as during PSC or other inspections, the book is a quick reference document to the relevant circular or guideline, therefore eases potential stress on board. 

Chapter 1 Introduction


Chapter 2 The Issue and the Associated Risks


Chapter 3 The IMO Ballast Water Management Convention
Reception Facilities
Port State Control
Section A General Provisions
Section B Requirements for Management and Control on Board Ships
Section D Standards for Ballast Water Management (BWM)
Section E Survey and Certification Requirements for Ballast Water Management


Chapter 4 United States of America Ballast Water Regulations
History of US regulations
Regulations in Detail
Compliance Options
IMO Convention vs US Regulations
Deviation from a Planned Voyage
Ballast Water Management Reporting Guidance
Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program (STEP)
Some Important Additional Requirements by the States
Vessel Incident Discharge Act (VIDA)
Discharge of Ballast in Extraordinary Circumstances
Additional Information
Non-compliance and Penalisation
Port State Control


Chapter 5 Planning for Compliance
SMS Procedures
Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS)
Designated Officer
Port State Control Inspections (PSC)
Initial Inspection (first stage)
Detailed Inspection (second stage)
Sample Analysis (third and fourth stage)
Detainable Deficiencies
Multi-purpose Tanks in Ballast System
Sediment Management
Communication with the Destination Port
Experience Building Phase and Non-penalisation of Ships
Checklist for Ballast Water Management Compliance

Shipping plays a major role in the introduction of new species from one part of the world to another, with ballast water being one of the main conduits for such transfer.


If the environmental conditions of the destination area are suitable, the new species will survive, reproduce and multiply. These new species, termed ‘invasive aquatic species (IAS)’ can create an imbalance in the local ecology and affect the food chain, creating devastating impacts on the local community.


This problem was first identified in the Great Lakes in 1988 and, since then, many governments have been working towards curbing the spread of IAS. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) in 2004, and it entered into force on 7 September 2017. The Convention establishes a global legislative regime to control the discharge of ballast water and IAS into various national waters.


The United States (US) has been addressing this issue since the 1990s and after long deliberations, in 2012, the US ballast water regulations, also known as the 2013 Final Rule, came into force.


This second version of the ‘Shipmaster’s Ballast Water Management Manual’ provides first hand guidance to shipmasters and seafarers. It collates all the relevant information for shipmasters, including relevant resolutions and circulars regarding BWM, which are useful during port State and other inspections.


As this manual is aimed at shipmasters, it neither delves into the technical details of the different BWM systems (BWMS) available in the market nor the selection and installation of these systems. The manual supplies the shipmaster and seafarers with precise, easily accessible information on the regulations and operational guidance on the compliance of BWM Convention and US regulations. It gives guidance on what a shipmaster should do in respect of operational practices of BWM, the potential daily challenges, documentation such as the ballast water management plan (BWMP) and practical aspects such as crew training, port State control, etc.


In this edition, details of the US BWM regulations have been included to assist shipmasters and ship owners/ship managers in understanding the complex BWM procedures that need to be followed when trading in US waters.


This manual assumes that the company and ship comply with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code for the safe operation of ships and pollution prevention and have an approved safety management system (SMS) in place with all the necessary plans and procedures for shipboard operations. While guidance is given on what should be included in the SMS, this manual must not be used as the sole reference point when writing the ballast water section of the SMS, nor when preparing the BWMP.


A checklist has been developed which may be used by shipmasters to help ensure relevant aspects of BWM have been covered. Lastly, a collection of relevant IMO resolutions, IMO circulars and US circulars has been added for ease of access.


BIMCO is the world’s largest direct-membership organisation for shipowners, charterers, shipbrokers and agents. In total, around 60% of the world’s merchant fleet is a BIMCO member, measured by tonnage (weight of the unloaded ships).

The organisation has NGO status and is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, with offices in Athens, Singapore and Shanghai. With around 1900 member companies across 120 countries – from the largest shipowners in the world to small local port agents and law firms, BIMCO represents a wide range of maritime companies and organisations.

BIMCO’s goal is to secure a level playing field for the global shipping industry. BIMCO therefore works to promote and secure global standards and regulations for the maritime sector. The organisation’s century long effort into creating standard contracts and clauses is an expression of that aim.

Title: Shipmaster’s Ballast Water Management Manual, Version 2.0
Number of Pages: 340
Product Code: WS1680K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-869-4 (9781856098694), ISBN 10: 1-85609-869-9 (1856098699)
Published Date: March 2020
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 203 mm
Book Width: 330 mm
Book Spine: 15 mm
Weight: 1.50 kg
Author: BIMCO

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