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Ballast Water Management System
Importance: The inadvertent transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in the ballast water of ships has been determined to have caused a significant adverse impact to many of the world’s coastal regions. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), has developed several documents, including the "International Conventions for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004",(Ballast Water Management Convention), which are aimed at preventing the introduction of unwanted aquatic or organisms and pathogens through the discharge of ballast water and sediments.

Upon entry into force by International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Ballast Water Management Convention applies to vessels registered in a country which is party to the Convention and to those vessels registered in other countries when operating in the waters of a country which is party to the Convention.

As a means to prevent, minimize and ultimately eliminate the risk to the environment, human health, property and resources arising from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of vessel’s ballast water and sediment, as well as to avoid unwanted side-effects from that control, the Convention requires vessels to conduct a ballast water exchange or be fitted with an approved ballast water management system.

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