IMO Ballast Water Management Convention

The IMO BWM Convention regulates the ballast water discharging all around the world

BIO-SEA systems are IMO Type Approved according to the requirements of the IMO BWM Convention

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Overview of BWM Convention:

The IMO BWM Convention entered into forced on September 8th 2017.  
More than 65 states representing more than 70% of the total world tonnage signed the BWM Convention.

The BWM Convention is the diminutive term commonly used when referring to the “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments”, adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in February 2004 in order to halt invasive aquatic species.

The Convention is composed of:

  • 22 Articles,
  • One Annex with 5 sections (A to E)
  • 14 Guidelines

Since its adoption, 14 Technical Guidelines have been developed to support port state authorities, shipmasters and owners, equipment manufacturers and class societies, and to encourage the harmonized implementation of the different Requirements.
The IMO resolutions have been adopting by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).


implementation timetable for the IMO ballast water management convention

 (Graphic courtesy DNV GL)


Main articles of the BWM Convention

Article 2 “General Obligations”:

Parties accept to undertake comprehensive actions in order to prevent, reduce and if possible eliminate the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments.
They are given the right to take, individually or in cooperation with other Parties, more stringent measures in order to control alien species discharge.

Article 9 “Inspection of Ships”

Ships may be inspected by Port State Control officers who can:

  • Verify the possession of a valid certificate and an approved Ballast Water Management Plan,
  • Inspect the Ballast Water Record Book
  • Sample the ballast water


Annex of the Convention:

ANNEX – SECTION B "management and control requirement for ships"

  • Ships must implement and have on board a Ballast Water Management Plan approved by the Administration (Regulation B-1)
  • Ships must maintain a Ballast Water Log Book (Regulation B-2) to record ballast water movements (uptake, treatment, exchange, circulation, discharge)

Annex – Section D "Standards for Ballast Water Management"

Regulation D-1 “Ballast Water Exchange Standard”

  • This rule requires ships operating ballast water exchange doing so with an efficiency of 95 per cent volumetric exchange of Ballast Water.

Regulation D-2 “Ballast Water Performance Standard”

  • D-2 Standard concerns water quality being discharged, related to specified maximum concentrations of microorganisms.

Regulation D-3 “Approval requirements for Ballast Water Management systems”

  • Requires using Ballast Water Management systems approved by the Administration in accordance with IMO Guidelines.

----> BIO-SEA has certification in accordance with the IMO Guideline <----


Microorganism category Regulation D-2
Plankton, size > 50 μm < 10 viable cells / m3
Plankton, size 10-50 μm < 10 viable cells / mL
Toxicogenic Vibrio Cholerae < 10 Colony Forming Unit / 100 mL
Escherichia Coli < 250 Colony Forming Unit / 100 mL
Intestinal Enterococci < 100 Colony Forming Unit / 100 mL


You will find below all the information you need from the official IMO website:

---->  BWM Convention <----

----> BWM Convention’s guidelines <----

---->  Check out the deadlines to comply with BWM Convention  <----

----> IMO resolutions from MEPC <----