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Belgium's national action plan on Ballast Water by Federal Public Service of Mobility and Transport - Belgium (Government) - SDG 14
by Federal Public Service of Mobility and Transport - Belgium (Government) (Government)
Belgium commits to the preparation of a national action plan to reduce the damage caused by ballast water from ships. The process of loading and unloading untreated ballast water poses a major threat to the environment, public health and the economy as ships become a vector for the transfer of organisms between ecosystems, from one part of the world to another.

The Ballast Water Convention, managed by the International Maritime Organization in London, aims at preventing, limiting and eventually eliminating the displacement of harmful aquatic organisms and germs by controlling and managing the ballast water and sediment of ships. The approval of the Ballast Water Convention represents an important step towards better protection of the marine environment from damage caused by ballast water from ships. As a result, Belgium places itself globally in the group of countries that wants to pursue an active policy for the protection of the marine environment. Before the entry into force of the ballast water treaty, two conditions must be fulfilled. Thirty (30) ratifying countries that represent 35% of the world gross tonnage must agree. Due in particular to Belgium's ratification, 35% of the gross tonnage is achieved. This has triggered the Ballast Water Convention in September 2017. For our fleet, it is essential that Belgium has ratified the Ballast Water Convention so that Belgium can carry out the necessary inspections and deliver the corresponding certificates. The ships will have to meet strict ballast water quality standards. At the international level, it has been found that the Ballast Water Convention still needs some improvement.

Belgium will actively contribute to the smooth implementation of the Ballast Water Convention as a treaty party The national action plan will contain a number of ambitious action items .
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): chemical byproducts of treatment systems
  • Reduce invasive aquatic species introduction:
June 2018
Development and Assessment of potential additional measures (Same Risk Area);
June 2020
Data collection on ships ballast water exchange, ballast water treatment systems and on invasive species in Belgian ports (building on existing work, knowledge and survey regimes);
June 2025
Identify ways to assess the issue of the potential effect of many ships discharging treated ballast water from approved treatment systems in an enclosed area, with respect to the effects of elevated residual chemicals.
Staff / Technical expertise
Scientific staff
Staff / Technical expertise
Scientific staff
Staff / Technical expertise
Scientific staff and ship inspectors
Basic information
Time-frame: 2016 January - 2025 June
Federal Public Service of Mobility and Transport - Belgium (Government)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
All countries worldwide
Contact information
Hans De Veene, Policy Advisor, hans.deveene@mobilit.fgov.be,
Brussels - Belgium
Other SDGs
United Nations