• 1. Ballast Water

Ballast Water








ARTICLE 1: All ocean-going vessels proceeding from foreign ports carrying ballast water on board and heading for Argentine ports to arrive to which vessels must at some point sail the Río de la Plata (River Plate), must discharge or change the ballast water before entering said waterway and its pollution prohibition zone just outside its outer limits (1). Whenever possible, the ballast tanks will be cleaned in order to remove all sediments.

ARTICLE 2: The vessels mentioned in the above article 1, bound for topping off or lightening operations which call for the vessels to sail within the Río de la Plata or the pollution prohibition zone just outside its outer limits, will comply with the above article 1 when the cargo is destined to or coming from an Argentine port.

ARTICLE 3: Those vessels mentioned in the above articles which opt to de-ballast and remain without ballast, will abstain from cleaning the ballast tanks or removing its sediments within the pollution prohibition zone just outside the outer limits of the Río de la Plata, the river waters or in the Argentine ports within the respective basin.

ARTICLE 4: Those vessels which cannot comply with articles 1 and 2 will hold on board the ballast water, until they are back outside the Río de la Plata basin and the pollution prohibition zone just outside its outer limits.

ARTICLE 5: When the above mentioned vessels approach the Río de la Plata  and the pollution prohibition zone just outside its outer limits sailing into the area, upon calling the Río de la Plata Coastal CONTRASE radio station to coordinate entry, the pilot, in the case of foreign flag vessels, or the master, in Argentine flag vessels, will inform the radio station operator which of the above alternatives has been applied on board, and further details as per article 6 in this resolution.

ARTICLE 6: In connection with the above articles, the Master will set down in the daily navigation book the following information referred to the de-ballasting, change of ballast or the holding on board of the ballast water.

6.1       Vessel's position (lat. and long.), date and time of operation's beginning.

6.2       Total quantity (In cubic meters or tons) of water discharged or changed.

6.3       Place of origin of the discharged ballast water (if applicable).

6.4       Identification and capacity (in cubic meters or tons) of the ballast tanks    involved in the operation (including emergency ballast tanks)

6.5       Quantity (in cubic meters or tons) of  unchanged ballast water held on     board, and in which tanks held.

6.6       Vessel's position (lat. and long.), date and time of operation's end.

6.7       Method used for changing the ballast water (Art. 7)

ARTICLE 7: The accepted methods for changing ballast water are (see Annex 1-a):

7.1       Total emptying and refill.

7.2       Continuous flow.

7.3       Overflow.

ARTICLE 8: The Coast Guard may contemplate the possibility of allowing methods for treating ballast water, others than those mentioned in Article 7, once its viability is proven. If these methods are to be used instead of the above described, they must be recommended by the International Maritime Organization. In all cases, these methods will be submitted in writing for approval, with a minimum time span before the intended date for use of:

8.1       Three (3) months, if they fall within a method, system, equipment or technology approved through a resolution of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee.

8.2       Six (6) months, if they fall within studies and experiments scientifically carried out, but not approved, by IMO. The request must include a detailed comprehensive report, signed by at least two professionals who are reputed experts in the field and are registered with an Argentine professional register, which will issue the respective Professional   Commendation Certificate.

8.3       One (1) year, if they fall within studies not approved by IMO nor scientifically checked by IMO. The request must include all the background information and a complete technical record to be submitted to a specialized laboratory, without whose approval the proposed method shall not be accepted. All expenses related with said analysis, tests and studies will be on the account of the requesting party.

ARTICLE 9: The options in Annex 1-b to this resolution are accepted only as a complementary to the ballast water management methods mentioned in Article 7, since its application is limited, or they have unwanted side effects.

ARTICLE 10: The compliance with this resolution will be as per the Guidelines for Safety-related Aspects in the Change of Ballast Water at Sea established by IMO, as part of the Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast Water to Minimize the Transfer of Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogenic Agents, set down in Res. A.868 (20), included in Annex 2 of this resolution.

ARTICLE 11: The Coast Guard is entitled to take samples of the tank's, pipes' and pumps'  contents, and check through any method deemed convenient the presence of harmful aquatic organisms, as well as checking that there is compliance with the requirements of this resolution.

ARTICLE 12: The Coast Guard is entitled to seal the ballast tank valves or ballast pumps of those vessels opting for the alternative in Article 4, to make sure that the ballast water not changed at sea is not discharged on the way to, or within, Argentine ports in the Río de la Plata basin.

ARTICLE 13: In those vessels opting for any of the alternatives in Article 7 of this resolution, ballast water must have a salinity of at least 30 parts per mil  (30mg/cm³). In case the samples tested had a lower salinity, the ballast change operation will be considered unsatisfactorily carried out, or carried out too close to the Río de la Plata, in which case Articles 4 and 12 of this resolution are applicable, as well as any infringements sanctions due to the responsible party.

ARTICLE 14: The naval artifacts and platforms (the latter understood as the term is defined in Art. 801.0601 of REGINAVE) certified for international ocean navigation will comply with this resolution, being subject to the obligations and prohibitions herein included, whatever their operative condition. When their destination is not any given port but a location in national jurisdiction within the area described in Article 1, that location will be considered as Argentine port as far as the application of this resolution is concerned.

ARTICLE 15: The Shipping Agencies of the Argentine ports within the Río de la Plata basin must inform in due time the vessels and shipping companies by them represented about the requirements of this resolution, by a certified means of communication. The agents must keep a copy of the evidence of said communication. If the captains were to allege ignorance on this issue, Shipping Agencies must justify the compliance of this resolution with the Coast Guard. If the agents do not have the evidence of communication then they will be concurrently responsible, due to omission.

ARTICLE 16: This resolution will be in effect as from:

16.1     For Argentine flagged vessels, those registered as per Decrees 1.772-91, 1.493-92, 343-97 and 1.091-87, and those incorporated in the future liable to be considered as Argentine flagged, 61 days as from the date of heading to this resolution (November 2nd, 1998).

16.2     For foreign flag vessels, 61 days after the publication of this resolution by the International Maritime Organization.

Buenos Aires, September 4th, 1998

Jorge Humberto Maggi

Head of the Argentine Coast Guard

(1) The Río de la Plata and Maritime Front Treaty, approved by Law 20.645, establishes in its Article 78 a "contaminating actions prohibition area" delimited by an imaginary line joining Punta del Este (Uruguay) with Punta Rasa at Cabo San Antonio (Argentina), from there to a point at Lat. 37° 32' S, Long. 55° 23' W, thence to a point at 36° 14' S, Long. 53° 32' W, and from there back to the point of origin in Punta del Este.

(2) Coast Guard Traffic Control and Navigation Safety Service.

(3) Articles 145 and 146 of Navigation Law 20.094.

(4) Sea water salinity oscillates between 34 and 36 per mil. The level adopted is the same as used in the USA as from May 10th, 1993, as per the 1990 Act to Prevent and Control Non Domestic Aquatic Organisms - P.L. 101-646.


In case a vessel has called at or any crewmember come from an affected port/country by cholera within the last 180 days – ballast water must be treated with chlorine.

The ratio is 15 litres chlorine per 1000 mt of ballast.

Fresh water however must be treated at all times with a ratio of 1 litre for each 200 mt of fresh water

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