Ballast water management and port state control – checklist for preparation of PSC inspections

The international Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) came into force on 8 September 2017. In Paris MoU alone, the Port State Control (PSC) issued more than 70 deficiencies regarding BWM in the last four months of 2017; worldwide more than 160 deficiencies were identified up to March 2018. This PSC news provides you with an overview of the main categories of deficiencies raised during the first seven months of BWMC entering into force and provides a checklist for preparation of PSC inspections regarding BWM systems, their operation and maintenance.

Ballast Water Management

The following list contains the most frequent findings that have been detected by PSC, which should be focused on:

  • About one-third of BWM-related deficiencies are for incorrect, not properly filled-out or missing entries of all ballast water movements (inboard, treatment, circulation, discharge), or the BWM record book itself is missing.
  • About 25 percent of the deficiencies are the result of incorrect ballast water exchange; either the ballast water was not exchanged at all or the amount of water exchanged was insufficient.
  • The BWM plan was not approved, incorrect or missing in 25 cases. In this respect, attention should be paid to the re-approval of the BWM plan after change of flag.
  • Lack of familiarization and training of the crew has a significant impact on the handling of ballast water, according to the BWMC.

In addition to these findings, the timeline for implementation of the D-2 standard and respective actions for installation of approved treatment plants, as required by the convention, need to be observed.

DNV GL has developed a common checklist (see in the full article for download) for supporting your preparation for PSC inspections with regards to the BWMC.

Compliance with the BWMC is not limited to verification during PSC inspections, however. In national waters, other local authori¬ties (e.g. water police, harbour master) may detect violations to this convention and might impose penalties or initiate follow-up by the local PSC.


  • Familiarize yourself with the requirements of the Ballast Water Management Convention
  • Utilize the enclosed PSC BWM checklist for preparation on board 
  • Inform and train the crew


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