Every day, an estimated 10,000 marine species are transported around the world in ballast water. This high level of invasive species being transported and discharged into inhabitable waters has called for legal action to take place. International legislators have reacted by implementing new regulations to prevent unnecessary spread of species and ballast. Due to legislator involvement from both national and international level, rules and regulations have become the primary driver behind the ballast water treatment market.
The market is driven by two key regulations:
IMO: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) launched the Ballast Water Management Convention (also known as the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments) in 2004. It will enter into force 12 months after ratification by 30 States, representing 35% of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage. The convention states that ballast water must be treated (to specific standards) before it’s released back to the environment.
USCG: In 2012, The U.S Coast Guard enforced a rule which establishes a standard for acceptable levels of marine organisms in ballast water that can be discharged into US waters. All vessels that sail in the region must adhere to the USCG's legislations. The USCG currently allows the acceptance of Alternate Management Systems (AMS) as a temporary measure, in order for vessels to continue their operations in the US.