Technical Circular No: 026/2023

Subject : South Korea on Ballast Water Management requirements in reaction to release of treated wastewater from Fukushima nuclear power plant.

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1. On 24 August 2023, the Japanese Government began releasing treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, as approved by the International Atomic Energy Association.

2. To keep the treated radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant out of its jurisdiction, South Korea has implemented requirements for ballast water discharge and requires following:

a. Ship’s that are entering the ports in the Republic of Korea after up taking ballast water in the ports belonging to Aomori Prefecture, Iwate Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, Ibaragi Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture in the eastern coast of Japan, must submit the ballast water reporting form to relevant regional maritime affairs and fisheries office at least 24 hours before entering port.

b. Ships that are planning to discharge ballast water into Korean waters after up taking ballast water from above mentioned six Eastern prefectures in Japan, must exchange their ballast water outside of Korea’s jurisdictional waters and enter Korean straits with exchanged ballast water.

The exchange operation must take place between the passage of Tsugaru Strait and 135°30’E when sailing northward, such as passing Tsugaru Strait. When the vessel sails southward, such as through the Kanmon Strait, the exchange must be made between 34°35’N and 132°30’E.

c. Ships that reported no plan to discharge ballast water into Korean waters after up taking ballast water from above mentioned six Eastern prefectures in Japan, will be required to submit the data that can prove the fact of non-discharge at least an hour before departure.

Documental proof includes the followings:

- Ballast water record book

- Log book

- BWMS operation record

- Ballast water tank capacity (photos)

d. Falsifying a ballast water reporting from or making a fraudulent entry in the BWMS operation record could lead to detention or fines for negligence in accordance with Ballast Water Management Act.

3. For details of the requirements, refer attached Spark International bulletin.

4. Other governments may also come up with requirements with respect to treated radioactive water as ballast.

5. In view of above, Owners/ Managers and Masters of vessels scheduled to call South Korean ports via Japanese ports are advised to ensure that details of ballasting operations are accurately recorded, so that they can be provided to the South Korean Port Authorities when preparing for port entry. Further, vessels transiting in these areas are advised to monitor the developments on a port-by-port basis through their vessel agents to ensure compliance to the requirements. 



This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.                              

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