Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS)

When the Convention was adopted, there were no suitable technologies that could meet the strict standards of the Ballast Water Management Convention. In the meantime, however, manufacturers worldwide have developed and constructed different innovative systems and technologies using either chemical processes (Active substances) or physical processes. Many systems have already undergone or are currently undergoing the complex approval procedure of the national authorities required by the IMO (or, if Active substances are used, with the involvement of the IMO).

In Germany, the BSH is responsible for measures to prevent the spread of foreign organisms by ships and thus also for the approval of ballast water management systems (BWMS) (see §§ 5 para. 1 no. 4c, 1 no. 16 Seeaufgabengesetz (SeeAufG)).

The approval process includes extensive test and inspection procedures and is based on specifications developed by the IMO:

  1. the BWMS Code ("Code for approval of Ballast Water Management Systems", formerly Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8) and
  2. the Guidelines for the Procedure for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems that make use of Active Substances (G9).

The BSH has now issued several Type Approvals for for ballast water management systems BWMS.