Notice by the Merchant Shipping Directorate to Shipowners, Ship Operators, Managers, Masters, Owners’ Representatives and Recognised Organisations. 

The Merchant Shipping Directorate would like to draw the attention of all concerned to the designation of areas for ballast water exchange in the North Sea in accordance with regulation B-4.2 of the Ballast Water Management Convention by Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Regulation B-4.2 of the Convention allows ports States to designate areas, in consultation with adjacent or other States, as appropriate, where ships may conduct ballast water exchange. Regulation B-4.2 determines that such sea areas can be designated in sea areas where the distance from the nearest land or the depth does not meet the parameters described in paragraph 1.1 or 1.2 of the regulation.

Furthermore Norway has implemented parts of the Ballast Water Management Convention (Regulation D-1; the exchange standard) in its national regulations which entered into force on 1 July 2010. Three exchange areas have been designated within Norway´s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

To this end a ship, on a voyage between 2 ports located in the North Sea, which under the Convention shall at least meet the standard described in regulation D-1, may conduct ballast water exchange in the designated ballast water exchange area in the North Sea. A ship conducting ballast water exchange in this area shall comply with all the regulations for ballast water exchange in the Convention, with the exception of regulation B-4.1.

The ballast water exchange areas have been identified assessed and designated taking into account the relevant the “Guidelines on Designation of Areas for Ballast Water Exchange (G14)” and the precise geographical co-ordinates of the areas may be found in BWM.2/Circ.56 which may be downloaded from:

For further details, contact us on:

Tel: (00356) 21 651387
Fax: (00356) 21 651384
Email: [email protected]