The Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) entered into force in September 2017. It made provisions for the utilization of risk assessments to determine the impact of Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens (HAOP). In this study, we proposed a comprehensive framework for evaluating an incoming vessel's risk level of introducing HAOP via ballast water by employing the Delphi method and an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) -based decision analysis process. Questionnaires were distributed to 21 marine experts in northern Europe and Taiwan to collect their opinions on 15 risk factors. The framework was then modified according to the experts’ feedback. Ten risk factors were selected under two categories: 1) source of ballast water and 2) vessel characteristics. The derived framework could serve as a decision-making tool to assist port states in identifying potential high risk vessels on their borders, and thus enhance the effective implementation and enforcement of the BWMC.
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