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Ballast water management: challenges for the flag state and port state control

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 11:33 authored by Samrat GhoshSamrat Ghosh, Rubly, C
Merchant shipping facilitates 90 percent of global trade by volume, and in performing this vital function around 45000 vessels move more than 10 billion tons of ballast water around the globe annually. When ballast water is loaded and discharged at different ports, immense quantities of aquatic life in the form of larvae, eggs, cysts, bacteria, microbes and small invertebrates are relocated. Introduced aquatic species often become invasive in their new environment, proliferating at dramatic rates displacing native populations, causing damage to local eco-systems, human health and property, and has been recognised as a huge ecological and economic threat to the planet’s environment. Overwhelming global environmental concern prompted the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to adopt the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) during the International Conference on Ballast Water Management for Ships’ in 2004, defining strict regulations for ship’s ballast water and sediment controls. The BWM Convention seeks to protect the marine environment and prevent the global spread of IAS by establishing benchmark strategies and standards for managing ships’ ballast water and sediments. Although the Convention remains to be ratified, it is nearing its tonnage requirement of 35% of the world’s merchant shipping that will allow it to come into force in the near future. To manage the magnitude of ships that will be obliged to fulfil the requirements of the Convention, IMO has authorized Flag State Control (FSC) and Port State Control (PSC) to enforce compliance. However, regulatory bodies face a number of challenges in ensuring compliance. Based on a review of literature, this paper highlights the various facets of the BWM Convention that are inadvertently creating challenges for the PSCs and FSCs to ensure effective compliance of the Convention.


Publication title

Proceedings of IAMU AGA 17






Australian Maritime College


Vietnam Maritime University

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Event title

IAMU AGA 17 - Working together: the key way to enhance the quality of maritime education, training and research

Event Venue

Haiphong, Vietnam

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Date of Event (End Date)


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Water transport not elsewhere classified

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