TIN news: The Liberian Maritime Authority issued a Marine Note, in order to remind operators that, after the BWM Convention entering into force on 8 September 2017, existing ships, to which the BWM Convention applies, shall have an approved Ballast Water Management (BWM) Plan, Ballast Water (BW) Record Book and carry on board a valid International Ballast Water Management (IBWM) Certificate.
Ships are also required to either implement the ballast water exchange (BWE) standard in regulation D-1 or the ballast water performance standard in
regulation D-2. The Convention allows no phase-in compliance period for ships constructed prior to the entry into force of the Convention.
In the interest of ensuring Liberian flagged vessels are in full compliance on or before 8 September 2017 and for consistency, the Administration has announced that will take the required action to approve BWM Plans and issue IBWM Certificates, prior to 8 September 2017.
Liberia also provides owners and operators of existing ships which are not yet required to implement the ballast water performance standard in regulation D-2, an expedited means of verifying compliance with the BWM Convention that will not require a separate initial on-board BWM survey.
The Liberian Administration has informed it’s Recognized Organization’s (RO), that are IACS member Classification Societies, that from 22 April 2017, the Administration will review and approve all BWM Plans and issue IBWM Certificates for existing Liberian flagged ships implementing only the BWE standard in regulation D-1. Owners and operators of existing ships that have installed ballast water management systems (BWMS) and intend to voluntarily implement the ballast water performance standard in regulation D-2 ahead of the enforcement date, should contact an authorized RO for the relevant survey and certification.
With effect from the date of this Note, owners and operators requiring approval of BWM Plans and IBWM Certificates for existing Liberian flagged ships, implementing only the BWE standard in regulation D-1, shall provide the following information to the Administration:
- Verification that the BWM Plan required by regulation B-1 comply fully with the requirements of the BWM Convention;
- Verification that the approved BWM Plan and record book are on-board and being implemented;
- Company attests that no modifications or conditions on-board affecting ballast operations and ballast water exchange have been made since last periodical survey;
- Declaration from the ship’s Master that the BWM Plan; BW Record Book; and notification or communication with coastal States is being implemented and that the BWM officer has been designated and the crew have been provided with the necessary training and familiarization;
- A copy of the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate.
The Liberian Maritime Authority notes that:
- IBWM Certificates already issued by an authorized RO prior to 22 April 2017 will continue to remain valid until they expire or the ship implements the ballast water performance standard in regulation D- 2, whichever is earlier.
- Statements of Compliance issued to existing ships implementing only the BWE standard in regulation D-1 shall be replaced with IBWM Certificates issued by the Administration.
- BWM Plans already approved by the Administration or an authorized RO in accordance with Assembly Resolution 868(20) or MEPC Resolution 127(53) remain valid until the plan requires revision due to the implementation of the ballast water performance standard in regulation D-2.
- BWM Plans submitted to an authorized RO for review prior to 22 April 2017 may be approved by the RO. After that date all BWM Plans shall be submitted to the Administration for review and approval.
- Upon receiving a BWM Plan for review and approval, the Administration will issue a statement when the plan was received, thereby allowing the ship to trade for three months with an unapproved BWM Plan on board