100 days to go – are you ready? The BWM Convention enters into force on 8 September 2017

With the deadline getting closer, DNV GL wants to remind you that every ship affected by the BWM Convention must have an International Ballast Water Management Certificate. And, to avoid a last-minute rush: the sooner the better. This news provides an update of some critical issues related to the convention.


Relevant for ship owners and managers with vessels affected by the International BWM Convention.

The IMO’s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, aiming to combat the problem of invasive species, enters into force on 8 September 2017. The BWM Convention stipulates two standards for discharged ballast water: 

  • The D-1 standard covering ballast water exchange 
  • The D-2 standard covering ballast water treatment 

A few important things to keep in mind: 

1. The D1 deadline (8 September 2017) is non-negotiable 

This means that the date of 8 September 2017 is definite, and there is no room for postponement. Before the certificate can be issued, the BWMP must be approved and, subsequently, an initial on-board survey performed. Considering the time needed to do this, we urge you to take the necessary actions to bring your fleet to compliance as quickly as possible. 

DNV GL has developed a BWM Plan Generator web application which will greatly facilitate your work to develop the BWMP in a cost and time-efficient way. Users of the application will also benefit from a reduced approval fee. The BWM Plan Generator is available on our customer portal My DNV GL.

2. Flag authorization 

While most flag authorities have delegated to Recognized Organizations (ROs), including DNV GL, the responsibility to review and approve BWM Plans and issue IBWM Certificates, some administrations will do this themselves. 

For example, Panama will carry out approval of the BWM Plan themselves and issue the full-term certificate, and has allowed DNV GL (and other ROs or class societies) to perform initial surveys and issue short-term certificates (ref MMC-345 and MMC-348). Liberia will do everything themselves with regards to compliance with the D-1 standard, which means that ROs/ DNV GL are not involved at all (ref Marine Operations Note 02/2017). 

BWM Plans already approved and IBWM Certificates already issued by an authorized RO prior to 22 April 2017 will continue to remain valid until they expire or the ship implements the ballast water performance standard in regulation D-2, whichever is earlier.
As soon as the D-2 standard is involved, the approval of the BWM Plan will be done by Liberia, whereas the approval of technical drawings, the initial survey and the issuance of the certificate is under the responsibility of the ROs/ DNV GL.
See more information in the newsletters about the Panama and Liberia flags (link below). 

3. To decouple or not to decouple? 

The question of the D-2 implementation date (i.e. when treatment equipment must be installed) now seems to be coming in play. There has been a large amount of speculation in the media about whether this date will slip beyond what has been previously agreed. However, we still recommend our customers to plan according to the original schedule, but keep an eye on possible changes as an outcome of the MEPC 71 meeting (3–7 July). 

We at DNV GL are committed to ensuring a smooth transition to compliance with the BWM Convention for ship owners, manufacturers, yards and ports alike. 


Make sure you have the International BWM Certificate on board your vessel by 8 September 2017. This means you must submit the plan for approval and order the initial survey before 8 September. DNV GL customers can use the smart Ballast Water Management Plan Generator web application.



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