Surveying for ballast water management (BWM)

Information for surveyors who are conducting surveys for ballast water management.

Marine Protection Rules Part 300 requires a vessel to have:

  • a ballast water management plan approved,
  • certain vessels to be surveyed to verify the arrangements on the ship comply with the ballast water management plan,
  • a decision on approval of the ballast water management system and the associated issuance of a Ballast Water Management Approval or International Ballast Water Management Certificate (IBWMC) .

Ships that fall under the Convention and Part 300 due to being able to carry non-permanent ballast water and undertaking international voyages, are required to have an approved Ballast Water Management Plan (BWMP) on board at all times.

This needs to be available to crew to refer to when conducting ballast water discharges and also available for inspection by port and flag State administrations.

The plan must contain operational processes and procedures, guidance for crew about record keeping requirements based on the ship’s Ballast Water Record Book (BWRB), and must include any exemptions that apply to the ship. The plan also needs to outline provisions for crew training and familiarisation, including explaining to crew the need for ballast water management and record keeping.

Once the BWMP is approved a surveyor will be approached to undertake a survey addressing the points raised below in the Guidance for surveyors on ballast water management on the surveyor resources pagein this guidance.

When the surveyor is satisfied that the vessel’s arrangements reflect the approved BWMP the surveyor will provide their survey report and the relevant checklist to the operator.

The operator will include these documents in their application to Maritime New Zealand for a ballast water system approval and the issuance of an associated document – IBWMC (vessels of 400 GT or over) or BWM Approval (vessels of less than 400 GT)


Which vessels can I survey?

Vessels 400 gross tonnes and above can only be surveyed by a Recognised Organisation (RO) or a surveyor with a specific recognition under Part 300 of the marine protection rules.

Operators of vessels less than 400 gross tonnes are required to show that the ballast water arrangements on their vessel align with the approved BWMP. Maritime NZ recommends that following approval of the BWMP, the operator should approach a Maritime NZ recognised surveyor for the purposes of the unlimited area (P1 or P1r recognition) to undertake a survey.

More information can be found in the guidance for surveyors on ballast water management (BWM) below:

Ballast water management surveyor guidelines [PDF: 232kB, 9 pages]