On 13 February 2013, Germany acceded to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships´ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (Ballast Water Management Convention) with the Ballast Water Act (Ballastwasser-Gesetz). On 20 June 2013, the relevant instrument of ratification was deposited with the Secretary General of the IMO. Supplementary provisions to the Ballast Water Management Convention and penalties for violations of the Convention were laid down in Regulations on Environmentally Sustainable Behaviour in Maritime Shipping (SeeUmwVerhV).
Finland joined the Ballast Water Management Convention on 8 September 2016 as the 52nd country increasing the tonnage to 35.14%. The Convention thus entered into force one year later on 8 September 2017.
In Germany, the BSH is responsible for measures to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens by ships in accordance with §§ 5 (1) No. 4c, 1 No. 16 of the Seeaufgabengesetz (SeeAufG - Maritime Responsibilities Act). In accordance with the SeeUmwVerhV, it therefore performs various tasks in the national implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention (including as the competent authority for the prosecution of administrative offences in the event of violations of the provisions of the Ballast Water Management Convention). It is also responsible for the approval of ballast water management systems.
Further information on the background and implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention in Germany can be found on the service portal German Flag.