It was more than a year ago that the shipping industry was finally provided with a solid timeline around the Ballast Water Convention (BWC) and the required installation of a Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS). The recent decision by the IMO to extend the deadline for the retrofitting of vessels with BWTS will have come as a relief to many shipowners, but those looking to take advantage of this extension are operating under a real risk of reputational harm and reduced commercial opportunities. Saudi Aramco and the US Coast Guard have set high environmental standards and are driving change ahead of regulations, and it is clear that ballast water monitoring & the issue of compliance is here to stay. Support vessel owners and operators should take steps now, both to maintain the asset value of their craft and to future-proof their operational freedom. Failure to do may result in reduced opportunities, lower profitability, and relegation to the second division of environmental leadership.