Ecolex Logo
The gateway to
environmental law
Search results » Treaty

International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments

Document type
Field of application
Feb 13, 2004
IUCN (ID: TRE-001412)
Title abbreviation

BWM 2004

Place of adoption
IMO International Maritime Organization
English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese
Entry into force
Sep 8, 2017
Biodiversity Hazardous substances Marine pollution Research Environmental standards Hazardous waste Monitoring EIA Pollution control Offences/penalties Certification Enforcement/compliance Data collection/reporting Inspection Marine pollution (ship-based sources) Dispute settlement Survey/mapping Legal proceedings/administrative proceedings Waste management Alien species

General Obligations: Under Article 2 'General Obligations' Parties undertake to give full and complete effect to the provisions of the Convention and the Annex in order to prevent, minimize and ultimately eliminate the transfer of harmful aquatic orgamisms and pathogens through the control and management of ships' ballast water and sediments. Parties are given the right to take, individually or jointly with other Parties, more stringent measures with respect to the prevention, reduction or elimination of the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of ships' ballst water and sediments, consistent with international law. Parties should ensure that ballast water management practices do not cause greater harm than they prevent to their environment, human health, property or resources, or those of other States. Reception facilities: Under Article 5 'Sediment Reception Facilities' Parties undertake to ensure that ports and terminals where cleaning or repair of ballast tanks occurs, have adequate reception facilities for the reception of sediments. Research and monitoring: Article 6 'Scientific and Technical Research and Monitoring' calls for Parties individually or jointly to promote and facilitate scientific and technical research on ballast water management; and monitor the effects of ballast water management in waters under their jurisdiction. Survey, certification and inspection: Ships are required to be surveyed and certified (Article 7 'Survey and certification') and may be inspected by port State control officers (Article 9 'Inspection of Ships') who can verify that the ship has a valid certificate; inspect the Ballast Water Record Book; and/or sample the ballast water. If there are concerns, then a detailed inspection may be carried out and the Party carrying out the inspection shall take such steps as will ensure that the ship shall not discharge Ballast Water until it can do so without presenting a threat of harm to the environment, human health, property or resources. All possible efforts shall be made to avoid a ship being unduly detained or delayed (Article 12 'Undue Delay to Ships'). Technical assistance: Under Article 13 'Technical Assistance, Co-operation and Regional Co-operation', Parties undertake, directly or through tje Organization and other international bodies, as appropriate, in respect of the control and management of ships' ballast water and sediments, to provide support for those Parties which request technical assistance to train personnel; to ensure the availability of relevant technology, equipment and facilities; to initiate joint research and development programmes; and to undertake other action aimed at the effective implementation of this Convention and of guidance developed by the Organization related thereto.

Full text


See Expanded View Show Map
Countries Entry into force Ratification * Simple signature
Albania -
Antigua and Barbuda -
Argentina - -
Australia - -
Barbados -
Belgium -
Canada -
Congo -
Cook Islands (New Zealand) -
Croatia -
Denmark -
Egypt -
Fiji -
France -
Georgia -
Germany -
Ghana -
Indonesia -
Iran, Islamic Republic of -
Japan -
Jordan -
Kenya -
Kiribati -
Korea, Republic of -
Lebanon -
Liberia -
Malaysia -
Marshall Islands -
Mexico -
Mongolia -
Montenegro -
Morocco -
Nigeria -
Niue (New Zealand) -
Norway -
Palau -
Panama -
Peru -
Russian Federation -
Saint Kitts and Nevis -
Saint Lucia -
Sierra Leone -
South Africa -
Sweden -
Switzerland -
Syrian Arab Republic
Tonga -
Trinidad and Tobago -
Turkey -
Tuvalu -

* [1] Ratification [2] Accession/approbation [3] Acceptance/approval [4] Succession [5] Consent to be bound [6] Definite signature

Other references

15 records related to this treaty. View legislation