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Understanding the BWMS Code

The BWMS Code has specific requirements for BWMS testing, test reporting, type approval certificates, and control and monitoring.

All BWMS installed onboard ships on or after 28 October 2020 will need to be approved in accordance with the BWMS Code (IMO Resolution MEPC.300(72).  The BWMS Code revokes the existing 2016 Guidelines (MEPC.279(70)) and previous guidelines for approval of BWMS. This does not impact any existing installations for international operations, but impacts all BWMS installations occurring on or after 28 October 2020.  MEPC defined “installed” as the contractual delivery date of the BWMS to the ship.  In absence of a contract, the “installed date” is the date of delivery.  Special cases may exist if delivery or installation is delayed.

The BWMS Code was developed to address shipowner’s concerns regarding inconsistency in BWMS testing and is part of the BWM Convention.  BWMS approved to the BWMS Code are listed below.

Aquarius®-EC BWMS
(Wärtsilä Water Systems, Ltd. – England)
Aquarius®-UV BWMS
(Wärtsilä Water Systems, Ltd. – England)
BalClor BWMS
(SunRui – China)
(BAWAT A/S – Denmark)
(DESMI OceanGuard A/S – Denmark)
Ecochlor BWTS
(Ecochlor – USA)
(Techcross, Inc. – Republic of Korea)
(Cathelco Ltd – UK)
HiBallast BWMS
(Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd – Republic of Korea)
(Calgon Carbon – USA)
OceanGuard BWMS
(Headway Technology Co., Ltd. – China)
OceanSaver MKII
(TeamTec – Norway)
(oneTank, LLC – USA)
PureBallast 3.2
(Alfa Laval – Sweden)
(Elite Marine Corp. – China)


Some BWMS type approval certificates were issued for the 2016 Guidelines.  These type approvals were issued prior to entry into force of the BWMS Code.  BWMS approved to the 2016 Guidelines are deemed to be in accordance with the BWMS Code and are:

Blue Ocean Shield (BOS)
(COSCO Shipbuilding Co. – China)
(ERMA FIRST – Greece)
GloEn-Patrol 2.0 BWMS
(Panasia Co., Ltd – Republic of Korea)
(Envirocleanse – USA)

Testing is also underway for many BWMS to meet the 28 October 2020 deadline.  COVID-19 is impacting completion of testing and approvals.  BWMS with active substances require basic and final approval by the IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC).  Due to COVID-19, the 75th session of MEPC did not occur.  Five BWMS are awaiting final approval for use in freshwater. We are awaiting guidance from IMO on the next MEPC or how approvals may proceed.

Choice Ballast Solutions is ready to help shipowners navigate through these complicated times and ensure the BWMS being purchased meets the requirements of the BWM Convention.  Contact Choice for assistance.