1.1. The Gibraltar Maritime Administration is increasingly receiving notifications from operators of Gibraltar registered ships to which Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention D-2 requirements apply, of ballast water management issues being experienced due to adverse operational conditions in certain geographical locations.
1.2. Such conditions may include (but not limited to):
Chemical treatment plant – Shortage of chemical stocks in port;
Electro chlorination plant – Does not work in freshwater as salinity is required;
UV Irradiation plant – Does not work effectively in turbid water;
High concentrations of silt/sediment in the water blocking the 50-micron filters.
Flag State Dispensations
2.1 Flag State Dispensations from the Convention cannot be issued as a result of operational issues, as such, this notice aims to provide guidance on actions to be taken by the Master.
Notification to Port States and Flag State
3.1. Any Circumstances involving operational issues as described in section 1, must be reported to the applicable Port State and Flag State as soon as reasonably possible.
4.1. The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), at its seventy-first session (3 to 7 July 2017), approved Guidance in way of BWM.2/Circ.62, on contingency measures under the BWM Convention to support ships and port States to apply sound and practical measures in situations where a ship is unable to manage its ballast water as required.
4.2. The guidance provides for contingency measures on a case-by-case basis, after a determination that ballast water to be discharged from a ship is not compliant, in order to allow ballast water to be managed such that it does not pose any unacceptable risks to the environment, human health, property and resources.
Implementation of contingency measures
5.1. The guidance requires that in circumstances related to non-compliant ballast water, communication between the ship and the port State takes place. The ship and the port State should consider possible contingency measures including but not limited to:
5.1.1. actions predetermined in the Ballast Water Management plan of the ship;
5.1.2. discharging ballast water to another ship or to an appropriate shipboard or land-based reception facility, if available;
5.1.3. managing the ballast water or a portion of it in accordance with a method acceptable to the port State;
5.1.4. ballast water exchange carried out to an approved plan in accordance with regulation B-4 to meet the standard in regulation D-1. The ship and the port State should consider the potential disruption to the cargo handling operation plan of the ship and the potential impact to relating parties including port operators and cargo owners; or
5.1.5. operational actions, such as modifying sailing or ballast water discharge schedules, internal transfer of ballast water or the retention of ballast water on board the ship. The port State and the ship should consider any safety issues and avoid possible undue delays.
5.2. Following consideration all of contingency options, the Port State subject to any conditions deemed appropriate, instruct the ship in respect of the discharge of ballast water. Port State considerations may include environmental, safety, operational and logistical implications of allowing or disallowing the discharge.