Baltic and International Maritime Council (Bimco) has launched a new practical guide to assist seafarers with the daily management of ship ballast water.

The new Shipmaster’s Ballast Water Manual covers all aspects of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, including regulatory implementation, inspections by port state control and charterers to be conducted in accordance with the Convention guidelines.

In addition, the manual includes the latest guidance issued by the IMO.

The BWM Convention came into force on 8 September this year and aims to prevent the transfer of potentially invasive species via ships' ballast water.

"This new guide has been written with seafarers in mind, in a practical and easily accessible way, to be used on-board at sea."

The convention mandates ship operators to treat ballast water before unloading it in a new location.

BIMCO deputy secretary general Lars Robert Pedersen said: “Implementation of the BWM Convention has been just around the corner for a long time, but there is still a great deal of confusion over the actual realities of the operational requirements, each ships’ ballast water management plan and the associated record keeping to demonstrate compliance.

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“This new guide has been written with seafarers in mind, in a practical and easily accessible way, to be used on-board at sea, helping the crew to manage the new obligations safely and effectively.”

BIMCO further noted that its new manual is linked to the existing safety management system (SMS), which covers both the company and ship, as well as plans for shipboard operations.