Argentina - New Provisions on Ballast Water Management: Ballast Chlorination – Guidance

21st April 2017

Further to the News Article dated 12 April 2017, the Club has received a variety of queries from Members concerning the new obligations pertaining to the chlorination treatment of vessel’s ballast tanks when calling at Argentine ports due to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development Resolution 85-E/2017.

In consultation with Club Correspondents Pandi Liquidadores, Buenos Aires, the information provided herein will hopefully offer further guidance and clarification;

  • The requirements within Resolution 85-E/2017, applies to all Argentinean ports and territorial waters for every vessel engaged in maritime international navigation coming from ports abroad.
  • Section 1 stipulates that the chlorination procedure shall be undertaken at roads or similar anchorage or berthing locations.
  • The chlorination treatment applied to the vessel’s ballast water is not a substitute for the mandatory obligations which necessitates ballast water exchange under Coastguard Regulation 7/98 and is completely independent to all the ballast exchange requirements. The treatment of ballast water through an IMO approved on-board ballast water treatment system may be accepted as an alternative to ballast exchange by the Coastguard Authorities, however; an official request for such a substitution must be made 3 months before performing such treatment within Argentinean territorial waters.
  • Vessels that are equipped with a ballast water treatment system must perform the chlorination procedure in addition to the disinfection that would have been done by the on-board treatment system.
  • Section 2 does not specify which party has the duty of performing the chlorination and issuing of the certificate. Therefore, the chlorination could be undertaken by vessel’s crew and the certificate produced by the Master, but it is highly recommended that the vessel’s agents be consulted prior to arriving at the port.
  • Sanitary Authorities at San Lorenzo port are not granting vessels with “Free Pratique” unless chlorination is performed and the certificate is issued.
  • Section 3 does not specify the acceptable chlorine residual that vessels are permitted to discharge from their ballast tanks in Argentinian waters after the treatment process. It does, however, establish that the content of residual chlorine shall be controlled according to the requirements of the relevant jurisdiction and allows the use of neutralisers to reduce its concentration. As residual values have not been clearly established, a vessel which complies to the application dosage specified in 3.1 of Resolution 159/99 Annex II, may not be in breach when deballasting chlorinated ballast water provided that the ballast has always been exchanged in accordance to Coastguard Regulation 7/98.
  • The sampling and control of the ballast tanks to verify the water therein are in compliancy with treatment protocols will normally be performed by the Sanitary Authority or Coastguard.
  • The treatment process can be found in Resolution 159/99 Annex II, with the followings key points being taken;
    1. After 30 minutes, at the correct dosage, the chlorine product being utilised should achieve the removal of prokaryotic microorganisms contained by the ballast water with an estimated 2 to 3 hour treatment period to assure eradication. Ballast tanks which are completely filled or “pressed up” may experience difficulty with the application and effectiveness of the chlorination treatment because of the pressure created by the water therein and inside the tanks’ sounding and vent pipes.
    2. Active grade 10% (100 g of chlorine in a litre of water) known as “pure chlorine” is to be used.
    3. The dose applied will depend on the work to be performed by the treatment product which is determined by the degree of contamination of the water being treated and water type (fresh or salt, ballast, bilge, consumer or service, etc.). The established proportion to be applied is 1.5 P.P.M. (parts per million per tonne of water) being equivalent to 15 p.p.m. of Sodium Hypochlorite 100% liquid; (= 150 cm3 per tonne of water), with 10% of the active material of a specific weight that is 20% heavier than water (i.e. Sodium Hypochlorite weighs 20% more in liquid form).
    4. The Sanitary Authority may carry out analyses of the treated ballast water by means of sampling without delaying the stay of the ship.
    5. Chlorine residuals, which are impossible to measure, can be produced during the process.  Therefore, it is recommended that chlorine neutralisers are applied to the ballast water tanks once the treatment is complete.

Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention department

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