- Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Maritime Administration has issued revised Marine Circular No. BWM 004 – Rev.3 (copy attached) providing guidance and instructions to ensure compliance with the Ballast Water Management Convention 2004 taking into account the decision of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC session 71) on the approval of the draft amendments to regulation B-3 of the BWM Convention.
- On entry into force of BWMC on 8 September 2017, all SVG flagged vessels i.e. vessels of any type operating in the aquatic environment, including submersibles, floating crafts, floating platforms, floating storage units (FSUs) and floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units, will be required to comply with the following requirements:
- Have an approved Ballast Water Management Plan on board;
- Maintain a Ballast Water Record Book;
- Manage their ballast water on every voyage by performing ballast water exchange (or by treating it using an approved ballast water treatment system); and
- Undertake an initial survey and have a Statement of Compliance with International Ballast Water Management Convention issued (for ships of 400 gross tonnage and above to which the Convention applies, excluding floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs).
- Implementation of Ballast Water Treatment Requirement (D-2):
MEPC at its 71st session approved draft amendments to regulation B-3 of the Ballast Water Management Convention. The changes supersede the implementation schedule contained within IMO Res.A.1088 (28).
The new implementation schedule for compliance with the D-2 standard is as follows:
Ships built (keel-laid) on or after 8 September 2017 shall comply with D-2 standard on delivery.
- Existing ships shall comply with the D-2 discharge standard on the first IOPP renewal following the implementation if:
- This survey is completed on or after 8 September 2019; or
- A renewal IOPP survey has been completed on or after 8 September 2014 but prior to 8 September 2017.
- Furthermore, the Existing ships shall comply with the D-2 discharge standard by the second IOPP renewal survey following the implementation, if the first renewal survey after 8 September 2017 is completed prior to 8 September 2019 and if conditions i or ii above are not met.
- Ships built before 8 September 2017 and delivered (including the initial IOPP survey) after that date, need to comply with the D-2 standard at the first IOPP renewal survey after delivery.
- An existing ship to which the IOPP renewal survey under MARPOL Annex I does not apply shall meet the D-2 standard not later than 8 September 2024.
The above implementation schedule implies that vessels with the last IOPP renewal carried out before 8 September 2014 have nothing to gain by decoupling, but instead risk losing up to two years on the D-2 implementation date by doing so.
- International Ballast Water Management Statement of Compliance:
- All ships of 400 gross tonnage and over to which the Convention applies are required to be surveyed and issued with an International Ballast Water Management Statement of Compliance valid for five (5) years, subject to annual and intermediate surveys.
- When the Convention is ratified by St. Vincent and The Grenadines, any Statement of Compliance issued to SVG ships should be replaced without survey with an International Ballast Water Management Certificate. The expiry date will correspond to the validity of the existing Statement of Compliance.
- An International Ballast Water Management Statement of Compliance can be issued prior to entry into force of the Convention (8 September 2017) provided that it is annotated to state that the validity begins as from 8 September 2017.
The Administration of SVG, in waters under its jurisdiction, may grant exemptions in addition to exemptions contained elsewhere in the Convention but only where they are granted:
- To a ship(s) on a voyage(s) between specified ports or locations;
- To a ship which operates exclusively between specified ports or locations;
- To ships that do not mix ballast water or sediments other than between the specified ports or locations;
- Any exemption granted should be based on the IMO G7 Guidelines on risk assessment and will not be valid for more than five (5) years. An exemption may be withdrawn at any time for breach of condition or in emergency situations.
- IOPP renewal survey and harmonisation of statutory certification:
- The Administration has no objection to de-harmonize the IOPP certificate before the entry into force of the Convention and to re-align it to the other statutory certificates at the first opportunity, provided the request is justified.
- Owners willing to use this possibility should complete a form in accordance with Circular GEN 001 with a documented justification for a case by case examination by the vessel’s RO.
- RO should forward the completed form to the SVG Administration for further evaluation. Subject to positive evaluation, the Administration will authorize the RO to perform a renewal survey for IOPP and to issue a new full term IOPP Certificate upon satisfactory completion of the survey.
- Actions to be taken by Shipowners, Ship’s Operators and Managers:
Shipowners, Ship Operators and Managers should conform to the following steps in order to comply with the Convention:
- To review the ship’s plans and ballast systems to ensure compliance with the BWM Convention;
- To install an approved ballast water treatment system as applicable;
- To submit the BWM Plan for approval to the Recognized Organization responsible for statutory certification of the vessel on behalf of SVG Administration.
- To arrange for an initial survey to be carried out by the Recognized Organization responsible for the vessel’s statutory certification on behalf of the SVG Administration and to obtain an International Ballast Water Management Statement of Compliance.
- To train the ship’s staff in BWM operations; and
- To maintain records in the ballast water record book as per the BWM plan including sediment management.
- Ship owners/ operators and masters are advised to be guided by above.
- St.Vincent and The Grenadines Circular No. BWM 004-Rev.3.
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.