Ukraine: Revising ballast water regulations

Ballast water

Published: 13 June 2019

Tanker discharging ballast into the harbor. Water flows from the side. Ship not identifiable. Only part of ship visible (photo)
Credit to: Doug McLean /

Sampling of ballast water and analysing it for ecological control in Ukrainian ports has been an issue for some time.

Our local correspondents, Dias Marine Consultancy, have advised us that the control of segregated ballast in Ukrainian ports has been cancelled and ecological inspectors are no longer permitted to inspect vessels for the purpose of "ecological control", including taking and analysing samples of ballast water. Prior to the new rules, when visible traces of pollution were noticed during de-ballasting, ecologists were permitted to sample and analyse ships' ballast water and compare the results with the applicable limits.

This change is a result of The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers having adopted Resolution No.367 "Some Issues of Deregulation of Commercial Activity", amending Government Resolution No.269 of 29 February 1996 regarding "The Rules of Protection of Inland Sea Waters and Territorial Waters from Littering and Polluting" with regard to ballast waters control in Ukrainian sea ports (hereinafter "the Regulation").

Resolution No 367 dated 27 March 2019 states that the mentioned cancellation is not permanent but will remain in force until new protocols for sampling and testing of ballast water have been adopted. Until such time, ecologists are prohibited from sampling and/or testing vessels' ballast water.

Despite these changes it is still recommended that:

  • All Members calling ports in the Ukraine should check with their local agents that the designated berth does not have any visible traces of pollution prior to arrival. It is also important for the ship's crew to ensure that the ship's side is clear of any traces of pollutants while the vessel stays at berth.
  • Although the ecologists may not sample or test the ballast water it is recommended that members still adhere to the SIPBS (State Inspection for Protection of the Black Sea) requirements, such as exchange of ballast water when entering the Black Sea, document the exchange in the appropriate logs and the IMO ballast water reporting form, and declare to the agent the quantity of ballast the vessel will discharge in port. Members should pay particular attention to tank maintenance, where the ballast is taken, draining of the tanks when emptied and sampling routines when SIPBS inspectors are on board.
  • As most port state control visits onboard vessels will normally start with an examination of relevant certificates and documents, it is also important to ensure that the vessel's ballast water management documentation is complete and up-to-date prior to a port entry. The International Ballast Water Management Convention requires all vessels to have a ballast water management plan, a ballast water record book and an International Ballast Water Management Certificate.

If members incur any problems, they should seek assistance from the local Correspondent immediately.

Skuld is grateful to Dias Marine Consultancy for contributing to this update.