Regulation D-3 of the BWM Convention requires that ballast water management systems used to comply with the Convention must be approved by the Administration taking into account the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8).
In order to be type-approved by an Administration, ballast water management systems need to be tested in a land-based facility and on board ships to prove that they meet the performance standard contained in regulation D-2 of the BWM Convention. Guidelines (G8) provide the technical specifications and the approval and certification procedures to be used by the Administration when granting type approval. Successful fulfilment of the provisions contained in Guidelines (G8) should lead to the issuance of a Type Approval Certificate, which allows a ballast water management system to be used on board ships.
Regulation D-3 also requires that ballast water management systems which make use of Active Substances shall be approved by IMO in accordance with the Procedure for approval of ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances (G9). Procedure (G9) consists of a two-tier process – Basic and Final Approval – to ensure that the ballast water management system does not pose unreasonable risk to the environment, human health, property or resources.
The decision on whether a ballast water management system makes use of Active Substances or not remains the prerogative of the Administration, which, ultimately, decides if it needs to make a proposal for approval in accordance with the Procedure (G9) or not.
Bearing in mind the complexity and the significant volume of documentation needed to support a proposal for approval, MEPC 53 agreed to establish a technical group to review these proposals along with any additional data and report to the Organization whether the proposals have demonstrated a potential for unreasonable risk to the environment, human health, property or resources in accordance with the criteria specified in Procedure (G9). MEPC 53 had also agreed that a technical group established under the auspices of GESAMP and financed through a fee scheme paid by the manufactures of the systems could best serve the interest of the shipping industry and mandated the group to develop the necessary methodologies and information requirements in accordance with the Procedure (G9).
For the latest version of the Methodology for information gathering and conduct of work of the GESAMP-Ballast Water Working Group (GESAMP-BWWG) please click here.
The Organization is requested to record the approvals of ballast water management systems and circulate their list once a year. Resolution MEPC.175(58), on the other hand, requests the Administrations approving a ballast water management system in accordance with the Guidelines (G8) to provide relevant information regarding the Type Approval Certificate to the Organization for circulation to the interested parties.
For the current lists of ballast water management systems, which received type approval certification, Basic and Final Approval, please click here.