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Key Insights into Ballast Water Management Systems

ABS report on best practices for ballast water management systems

ABS held a workshop with approximately 30 owners and operators with ballast water management (BWM) systems on board their vessels to assess how industry is progressing with the systems. Based on input provided, ABS developed a report covering a range of topics, including installation, commissioning and operations of BWM systems.

In analyzing the responses, ABS learned that only 57 percent of the systems installed on the vessels were being operated. The remaining systems were either deemed ‘inoperable’ or considered ‘problematic.’


Other key findings from the report include:

  • Chemical consumables used for determining residual oxidants in the ballast water is a recurring concern for many owners. Proper storage and handling is critical to the operation of systems employing total residual oxidant (TRO). 
  • Software, hardware and the crew’s ability to operate the systems correctly are some of the major challenges that shipowners and operators face. System operators have had to develop plans to keep up with hardware maintenance and maintain an inventory of spare parts on a vessel.  
  • Maintaining an effective training strategy to ensure crew members can operate these systems properly and safely is an important concern for operators. Improved training methods and competency assessments will decrease the number of issues that stem from operational errors.

This comprehensive report is an important assessment of the readiness of industry when it comes to ballast water compliance. ABS believes that it is important for the practices which are being used successfully by some vessel owners are shared with others in industry.

To download your copy of the ABS report, please fill out the form below:

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