News from our Members and Partners

13 September 2017

IMarEST assists maritime sector as global treaty enters into force to halt invasive species

The International Ballast Water Management Convention entered into force on the 8 September 2017 and the IMarEST remains on standby to support vessel owners, equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders in their collective efforts to ensure the Convention is successfully implemented.

Under the Convention, commercial ships are required to install ballast water management systems in order to prevent the global spread of invasive marine organisms. To fulfil the objectives of the Convention and halt further damage to delicate marine ecosystems around the world, a number of vessel owners must now select and fit suitably type-approved equipment that matches the operational profile of their ships and satisfies the new regulatory regime.

Dr Bev MacKenzie, the IMarEST’s Technical & Policy Director said:

“It is a major undertaking for any shipowner and one that is fraught with complex technical challenges. The IMarEST is well-placed and keen to assist vessel operators address these issues, particularly through its Ballast Water Expert Group.” 

The Ballast Water Expert Group (BWEG) was first convened by the IMarEST in 2010 and prior to the Convention’s ratification, dedicated itself to informing and educating IMO member States and the wider community through the provision of technical information and guidance. Now that the Convention has entered into force, it is working to support stakeholders in aspects related to the practical implementation. Reflecting the change in focus, these activities include:

  • Encouraging development, approval and uptake of management systems
  • Supporting crew training and cultural change
  • Ensuring adequate legislation is in place
  • Supporting sampling and monitoring of ballast water
  • Exploring contingency measures
  • Ensuring best practice is captured and made available.

Working through the BWEG, the IMarEST will continue in its efforts to ensure the shipping and related maritime industries can fulfil their functions in facilitating international trade and economic development with minimal environmental impact. It will continue to support its members and the industry as a whole in implementing the Convention – preferably sooner rather than later.


About the IMarEST
The IMarEST is an international learned society and membership body that brings marine engineers, marine scientists and marine technologists together into one multi-disciplinary professional body. The largest marine organisation of its kind, it spans 128 countries and works to promote the scientific development of marine engineering, science and technology, providing opportunities for the exchange of ideas and practices and upholding the status, standards and expertise of marine professionals worldwide. Members are able to gain professional registration through the Institute (such as Technician, Incorporated, Registered or Chartered status). The IMarEST is an NGO with consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and observer status at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, International Hydrographic Organization, the London Convention/London Protocol (LC/LP) and the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP). It has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), which facilitates its access to other international intergovernmental meetings where its specialized marine expertise is of particular use, e.g., the United Nations meetings on Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the work of the International Seabed Authority on marine mining. w: