The Department of Merchant Shipping recently issued guidance to owners, charterers and managers of Cyprus ships regarding the entry into force of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments 2004 (BWM Convention) on September 8 2017. Cyprus is not yet a party to the BWM Convention, but the department is working towards ratifying it. Once the convention enters into force, all Cyprus-flagged ships to which it applies will be required to:

  • comply with the convention when they call at ports or terminals of parties to the convention; and
  • carry on board a class statement of compliance issued after a survey by the recognised organisation which issued the vessel's class certificate.

Following Cyprus's accession to the BWM Convention (of which the department will inform stakeholders at the time), the department will authorise recognised organisations to perform statutory work on Cyprusflagged ships. Any statement of compliance will be directly replaced with an international ballast water management certificate without the need for a survey. The expiry date of the certificates will be of no later than the date of the existing statement of compliance.

Ships will be required to comply with the relevant standards and carry on board a ballast water record book in accordance with Regulation B-2, which contains the information specified in Appendix II of the BWM Convention. Ballast water management plans should be approved by the recognised organisation concerned, in accordance with Regulation B-1 of the Annex to the BWM Convention and the published guidelines. Ships using a ballast water management system must have a type approval certificate in compliance with the International Maritime Organisation 2016 Guidelines for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems.

The department strongly recommends that all statutory certification be synchronised. Further, if an owner wishes to bring forward the date of the International Oil Pollution Prevention renewal survey, then all other statutory renewal surveys must be completed at the same time, including any associated docking survey. However, the department will consider applications for exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.