ClassNK: Large number of ships still waiting for 2022 to install BWM systems

Ship classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) said that the installation deadlines based on the BWMS Convention for many of its registered ships are still concentrated in the year 2022.

As of the end of November 2020, 7,220 of the 9,159 ships registered with ClassNK are obligated to install BWMS in accordance with the BWM Convention. Among these, 3,982 ships have completed the installation, leaving 3,238 ships that still require attention.

Image by ClassNK

“Although the number of ships without BWMS has decreased by 1,280 since August 2019, the installation deadline for these ships remains largely concentrated in 2022,” ClassNK added.

“As difficulties are expected in the installation of BWMS if everyone around the world waits until 2022, ClassNK recommends installing well in advance.”

Image by ClassNK

In addition, plan approval applications are also expected to concentrate during this period, therefore early application is strongly recommended.

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) entered into force on September 8, 2017. 

Under the rules of the convention, all ships engaged in international trade are required to manage their ballast water so as to avoid the introduction of alien species into coastal areas, including exchanging their ballast water or treating it using an approved ballast water management system. Initially, there will be two different standards, corresponding to these two options.

The D-1 standard requires ships to exchange their ballast water in open seas, away from coastal waters. By doing this, fewer organisms will survive and so ships will be less likely to introduce potentially harmful species when they release the ballast water.

D-2 is a performance standard which specifies the maximum amount of viable organisms allowed to be discharged, including specified indicator microbes harmful to human health.

New ships must meet the D-2 standard from September 8 while existing ships must initially meet the D-1 standard. An implementation timetable for the D-2 standard has been agreed upon, based on the date of the ship’s International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPPC) renewal survey, which must be undertaken at least every five years.

Eventually, all ships will have to conform to the D-2 standard. For most ships, this involves installing special equipment.