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ClassNK warns owners not to wait for deadline to install ballast water systems

Japanese classification society ClassNK is advising owners to fit ballast water management systems (BWMS) well ahead of time as it sees a large spike in retrofit numbers in 2022.

For be compliant with the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention for existing vessels shipowners have to install a BWMS at the vessel’s next special survey after 8 September 2019, essentially giving a five year window for retrofits between September 2019 and September 2024 depending on when the special survey is due.

While some owners are acting ahead of time – 1,915 vessels out 7,315 ships registered with ClassNK have already installed systems – the majority some 5,400 vessels are yet to fit a system. Of that number slightly over half, 2,832 vessels, have installation deadlines in 2022.


“As difficulties are expected in the installation of BWMS if everyone around the world waits until 2022, ClassNK recommends installing early,” the classification society said.

Owners are waiting until the latest dates possible to install systems due to the cost of a BWMS unit, the small number of systems with type approval for tighter US Coast Guard regulations, and there have also been reports of operating difficulties with early systems.

Read more: Operational problems continue with Ballast Water Treatment Systems: ABS

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