Bureau Veritas has published a comprehensive set of guidelines on Ballast Water Management Systems. Guidance Note NI 538 is intended to help shipowners, shipyards and equipment manufacturers facing complex choices when deciding how to implement the IMO International Convention on Ballast Water Management and also local rules on ballast water which apply in some areas of the world.

The guidance note clarifies the requirements of the BWM Convention and shows the alternative systems and processes which can be adopted to meet the requirements. The advantages and disadvantages of different treatment measures are explained.

Jean-Francois Segretain, deputy technical director, Bureau Veritas Marine Division, said: “Ballast Water Management is becoming a major challenge for shipowners. There is some uncertainty over the exact implementation dates of the BWM convention, and there is also a growing patchwork of local regulation, with the possibility of even more stringent rules on ballast in the USA. But one thing is certain, shipowners will very soon have to have in place a means of meeting very strict ballast water conditions. There are a number of ways to meet stringent standards on ballast water, but not all are as yet proven technology. That is why we are publishing these guidelines now, to draw attention to what needs to be done and to provide some clarity on the choices facing owners and operators.”

The Guidance note covers requirements for the ship and for type-testing of treatment systems and also the elements of a Ballast Water Management plan.