BWMS requirement of global feet scenario

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

23 March 2017


International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s Ballast Water Management Convention was finally ratified in 2016 and 55 states representing 53% of global GT are currently signatories, says a report by Clarksons Research. "Thousands of ships will require costly technology and elevated levels of demolition are expected as compliance dates approach," says Sarinka Parry-Jones, the author of the research report. This key piece of environmental legislation will enter into force on 8th September 2017 and the ramifications for the fleet are significant. The IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention aims to prevent the spread of harmful and invasive species via ships’ ballast water and requires that vessels install approved ballast water management systems (BWMSs). However, technology and installation costs are significant and range from anything between $0.5m to $3m per ship. Currently, around 3,900 vessels in the fleet are reported to have a BWMS. Bulkers, tankers and boxships account for 70% of these. A much higher proportion of the orderbook is compliant, around 16%, and most ships on order have provisions for BWMSs. Excluding c.5,300 ships estimated to have BWMSs (including allowances for late reporting) and around 43,000 ships engaged in ‘domestic’ trading, as these are likely to be exempt from the convention because they operate within one body of water, approximately 46,000 ships require a BWMS. However, BWMS retrofit is costly and can be technically difficult for older ships and this may push owners to scrap as compliance dates near. With a rough assumption that ships of 20+ years will be recycled rather than retrofitted, BWMS retrofit demand falls to c.31,000 ships