To achieve effective and efficient Ballast Water Management Plan (BWMP), good and consistent record keeping is vital. By Convention, every vessel is required to have a Ballast Water Record Book (BWRB) which could be an electronic record system or may be integrated into an existing paper book format.
It is the duty of the ballast water management officer to maintain standard and appropriate records of ballast water management and treatment operations onboard. The ship operator or master is required to regularly review the plan and ensure that the information contained therein is accurate and up-to-date.
Regulation B-2 recording requirements
- The format could be electronic or paper form and contains at least information specified in Appendix II to the Convention.
- BWRB entries are to be maintained on board the ship for a minimum period of two years after the last entry has been made and thereafter in the Company’s control for a minimum period of three years.
- All discharges of Ballast Water pursuant to Reg. A-3, A-4 or B-3.6 of the Convention, and/ or including accidental or exceptional discharges, not otherwise exempted by the Convention, are to be recorded, without delay in the BWRB. The circumstances and the reason for the discharge are also to be indicated.
- If exceptions or exemptions have been granted to the ship, the ship owner and operator is to ensure that they are properly documented and entered in the BWRB. It is to be noted that exceptions are situation specific, hence record keeping and communication is the only way of demonstrating compliance.
- The BWRB is to be kept readily available for inspection at all times and, in the case of an unmanned ship under tow, may be kept on the towing ship.
- The control equipment of the ballast water treatment system is able to store data for at least 24 months. The requirements for type approval are that the control equipment should be able to display or print a record for official inspections as required. In the event the control equipment is replaced, means should be provided to ensure the data recorded prior to replacement remains available on board for 24 months.
Here are the minimum required Information to Log in Ballast Water Record Book (BWRB)
- Vessel parameter such as name, IMO number, etc
- Ballast tanks onboard and total capacity
- Date of the operation
- Quantity of ballast water loaded or discharged
- Geographical locations involved in loading or discharging of the ballast water
- Ship’s ballast tank used in the operation
- Ballast water temperature
- Salinity of the ballast water in PPM (salt content in parts per million)
- Date and identification of the tank last cleaned
- Quantity of ballast water involved in operation
- Signature of responsible officer involved