Ballast water management (BWM)

There are new requirements for commercial and recreational vessels that undertake international voyages, and can carry non-permanent ballast water. Find out what rules apply to your vessel.

Ballast water management came into effect in New Zealand on the 8th of September 2017.

Ballast water management applies to all New Zealand commercial and recreational vessels that:

  • have the ability to carry non-permanent ballast water, and
  • are undertaking international voyages

    An international voyage includes a voyage between two ports in another country.


Does BWM apply to your ship?

Refer to the section on the BWM Guidelines - 2. Which ships are affected? for a quick guideline on whether or not BWM will apply to your vessel:

Ballast water management guidelines [PDF: 1.67Mb, 45 pages]



In very limited circumstances, your vessel may be granted an exemption for meeting ballast water management requirements if you have received an exemption from the coastal state to which you are travelling.

Apply for an exemption


Contact us for more help

If you have any questions about ballast water management, please contact our Operator Certification team.


New Zealand (toll free):
0508 22 55 22

Calling from outside New Zealand:
+64 4 473 0111

Tell us what you need help with and remember to include your contact details (email address and phone numbers).