Tag Archives: TBT

International Ballast Water Management Certificate- A handy guide

Controlling the spread of invasive species

Enters into force on 8 September 2017


“The spread of invasive species is now recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well being of the planet.” IMO website

Bringing up the rear of this section on ship certification posts is the newest of the the documents. It has been a long time in development and ratification, but at last is now entering force in September of 2017.

Why is an International Ballast Water Management Certificate required?

It will be required under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships‘ Ballast Water and Sediments.

Two suggested links:

Two definitions from the Convention:

Ballast Water “ means water with its suspended matter taken on board a ship to control trim, list, draught, stability or stresses of the ship.

Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens “ means aquatic organisms or pathogens which,  if introduced into the sea including estuaries, or into fresh water courses, may create hazards to the environment, human health, property or resources, impair biological diversity or interfere with other legitimate uses of such areas.

Which ships require the certificate

Ships of 400 gross tonnage and above.

What information is contained on an International Ballast Water Management Certificate?

  • Particulars of ship
    • Name of ship
    • Distinctive number or letters
    • Port of registry
    • Gross Tonnage
    • IMO number
    • Date of Construction
  • Ballast information
    • Ballast Water Capacity (in cubic metres)
    • Details of Ballast Water Management Method(s) Used
    • Method of Ballast Water Management used
    • Date installed (if applicable)
    • Name of manufacturer (if applicable)
    • The principal Ballast Water Management method(s) employed on this ship is/are:
      • In accordance with regulation D-1
      • In accordance with regulation D-2
      • The ship is subject to regulation D-4
  • Validity
  • Certificate is validity
  • Survey dates
  • Issued

What Surveys are required?

Reference Regulation E-1 Surveys

Ships of 400 gross tonnage and above to which this Convention applies, excluding floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs:

An initial survey before the ship is put in service or before the Certificate is issued for the first time.

An intermediate survey within three months before or after the second Anniversary date or within three months before or after the third Anniversary date of the Certificate

An annual survey within three months before or after each Anniversary date

An additional survey either general or partial,after a change, replacement, or significant repair of the structure, equipment, systems, fittings, arrangements and material necessary to achieve full compliance with this Convention

What inspections may be carried out?

  • In a port or offshore terminal of another inspections to determine whether the ship is in compliance with this Convention. This inspection will normally be limited to:
  • Verifying that there is onboard a valid Certificate
  • Inspection of the Ballast Water record book
  • A sampling of the ship‘s Ballast Water. However, the time required to analyse the samples shall not be used as a basis for unduly delaying the operation, movement or departure of the ship.

What ballast water standards must be met?

After 8th September ships must comply with one of the following. D1 can only be used up to the renewal of the IOPP certificate. See IMO  Resolution  A1.088(28) for more information.

Regulation D-1 Ballast Water Exchange Standard
This requires Ballast Water exchange  with an efficiency of at least 95 percent volumetric exchange of Ballast Water. For ships exchanging Ballast Water by the pumping-through method, pumping through three times the volume of each Ballast Water tank shall be considered to meet the standard

Regulation D-2 Ballast Water Performance Standard

This sets standards according to the number of  viable organisms per cubic metre.  The standard also states what microbes must be included in the test as indicators.


Regulation D-4 fives a five year exemption to Prototype Ballast Water Treatment Technologies.

What documents must be carried with the certificate?


Each ship shall have on board and implement a Ballast Water Management plan. Such a plan shall be approved by the Administration

Each ship shall have on board a Ballast Water record book that may be an electronic record system, or that may be integrated into another record book or system.


Some useful Ballast water links

Click here for information on the Really Handy Books revision aids for mariners>



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The International Anti-fouling certificate -A handy guide

Navsregs>Ship Certification>International Anti-Fouling Certificate

Removing Organotin from the seas


This exploration of ship certification is on its final stages of pollution related documentation. The last two certificates do not get their power from MARPOL however, but instead from two stand alone conventions. The first of these is aimed at reducing the damage caused by anti-fouling paint.

Why is the The International Anti-fouling certificate required?

It is required by The International Convention of the control of anti-fouling systems on ships, 2001.

Click here for the IMO page on the anti-fouling convention>

“Anti-fouling system means a coating, paint, surface treatment, surface, or device that is used on a ship to control or prevent attachment of unwanted organisms.”

What does that convention require?

That ships shall not apply or re-apply Organotin compounds which act as biocides and that that ships either:

  • Shall not bear such compounds on their hulls or external parts or surfaces; or
  • Shall bear a coating that forms a barrier to such compounds leaching from the underlying non-compliant anti-fouling systems

See table in antifoultableMGN 398 for implementation dates.

What ships are requires to carry the certificate?

Ships of 400 GT or above

Ships of less than 400 GT but of 24 metres or more in length must carry a Declaration and appropriate documentation such  a paint receipt or contractor’s invoice.


What does it certify?

That the ship has been surveyed in accordance with regulation 1 of Annex 4 to the International Convention of the control of anti-fouling systems on ships.

The survey shows that the anti-fouling system on the ship complies with the applicable requirements of Annex 1 to the Convention.

The certificate will contain a statement that an anti-fouling system controlled under Annex 1 has not been applied during or after construction of this ship, or if the ship had a controlled anti fouling system prior to the introduction of the convention the certificate will state:

  • When an anti-fouling system controlled under Annex 1 has been removed,or
  • When an anti-fouling system controlled under Annex 1 has covered with a sealer coat, or
  • When anti-fouling system controlled under Annex 1 must be removed or covered with a sealer coat prior to date

What other information is shown on the Certificate?

Particulars of ship

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • Port of registry
  • Gross tonnage
  • IMO number

What are the survey requirements?

An Initial Survey followed by subsequent survey when the anti-fouling system is changed or replaced. There is no regular survey requirement.

What document should accompany the International Anti-fouling certificate?

A Record of Anti-fouling Systems.

Record of Anti-fouling systems

This Record shall be permanently attached to the International Anti-Fouling System Certificate.

What information is shown on the record?

  • Particulars of ship
    • Name of ship
    • Distinctive number or letters
    • IMO number
  • Details of anti-fouling system(s) applied
    • Type(s) of anti-fouling system(s) used
    • Date(s) of application of anti-fouling system(s)
    • Name(s) of company(ies) and facility(ies)/location(s) where applied
    • Name(s) of anti-fouling system manufacturer(s)
    • Name(s) and colour(s) of anti-fouling system(s)
    • Active ingredient(s) and their Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number(s) (CAS number(s))
    • Type(s) of sealer coat, if applicable
    • Name(s) and colour(s) of sealer coat applied, if applicable
    • Date of application of sealer coat

Note:  A CAS Registry Number,  is a unique numerical identifier assigned by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) to every chemical substance described in the open scientific literature. Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) is a division of the American Chemical Society. Click here for their website>

Deceleration on anti-fouling system

This is required to be carried by Ships of less than 400 GT but of 24 metres or more in length. Such a vessel must also carry appropriate documentation such  a paint receipt or contractor’s invoice.

Contents of a deceleration

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • Port of registry
  • Length
  • Gross tonnage
  • IMO number (if applicable)

A statement that: I declare that the anti-fouling system used on this ship complies with Annex 1 of the Convention.

Useful links on anti-fouling

UK MGN 398 Merchant shipping anti-fouling system regulations 2009

UK guidance for Surveyors

Some notes on anti-fouling paint

Organotin compounds or stannanes are chemical compounds based on tin with hydrocarbon substituents. Depending on the organic groups, they can be powerful bactericides and fungicides.

Studies have shown that these compounds persist in the water, harming the environment and possibly entering the food chain.  Organotin tributylin (TBT), which has been proven to cause deformations in oysters and sex changes in whelks.

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