ABS reports that

This Guide refers to relevant international regulations and guidelines that are considered to be applicable. While it is the intent of this Guide to be consistent with the regulations and guidelines, it is recommended that the users of this Guide refer to the most recent text of those regulations and guidelines.

A BWMS installed on board a vessel is to be an IMO Member State type-approved and certified system and the installation of this system is to have the prior approval/ acceptance of the vessel’s flag Administration. It is recognized that each BWMS is tested, approved and certified in its standard product configuration.

# USCG Type Approval #

In 2012 the United States Coast Guard (USCG.) issued “Federal Register/Vol. 77, No. 57/, March 23, 2012/ Rules and Regulations; 33 CFR Part 151; 46 CFR Part 162 Standards for Living Organisms in Ships” Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. Waters”, according to which:

1) Ships required to meet these USCG ballast water discharge standards are to use a BWMS tested and approved in accordance with 46 CFR 162.060.

2) To comply with USCG requirements any BWMS, irrespective of certification under the IMO BWM Convention, is required to undergo USCG Type Approval.

3) To get a USCG Type Approval, a BWMS manufacturer is to work with a USCG accepted independent laboratory (IL) for all of the required tests and evaluations, even in the case where existing data is to be used.

Also, in 2018, the UK MCA launched a guide on "frequently asked questions" for those who consider installing a BWMS.

# Certification requirements #

For obtaining ABS certification, the acceptability of an IMO Member State Type Approval (TA) by ABS will be subject to the following requirements:

  1. The approval of a BWMS installation or the issuance of an ABS PDA/TA Certificate, will be subject to the condition that the documentation submitted includes the current valid flag Administration TA Certificate, Instruction Manual with the associated original approved piping schematics, along with its related components positively identified in the vendor’s/manufacturer’s submission for review or approval.
  2. The approval of a BWMS installation will only be considered subject to, and only if, the exact configuration of the entire system, with each of its components has been included in the schematics to be approved, as identified in the documentation in 3/5.1.i above.
  3. The acceptance of any deviation from the original flag Administration TA will be subject to the submission of documentation to ABS, issued by the TA issuing flag Administration or an RO on behalf of the TA issuing flag Administration with the endorsement of the flag Administration certifying that the deviation is acceptable within the framework of the original flag Administration TA certification.

# Maintenance of Ballast Water Management Plan #

The BWMP is to be reviewed periodically by the Owner, operator, ballast water management officer or Master and maintained up to date.

Any changes to the provisions of the BWMP are to be submitted for review and approval to ABS. Suitable briefing and training are to be provided to the vessel’s crew on changes/updates made to the BWMP, particularly for those related to the operational and/or safety aspects of the ballast water management operation

# Installation criteria #

To receive the BWT or BWT+ notation, the BWMS is to be designed, constructed and installed such that:

  1. It is suitable for operation by shipboard personnel and is of sufficient capacity for the vessel's operations
  2. It complies with the international regulations
  3. It does not degrade the quality of local marine environments upon discharge.

# Equipment #

Fire Fighting Equipment and Arrangements

According to Mr. Stamatis Fradelos, Director, Business Development, ABS, there is a number of technical safety issues related to the installation of Ballast Water Treatment Systems. Thus, those interested in installing or have already installed a ballast system are recommended to follow the principles below:

  1. The provision of appropriate fire detection and extinguishing systems and equipment capable of extinguishing the type and scale of fire likely to occur in association with the installed BWMS.
  2. If installed in a separate compartment, for the application of structural fire protection requirements, the BWMS space is to be treated as a machinery space other than a Category A space.
  3. The identification of fire risk of the BWMS, including the active substances or preparations used or generated, and the provisions of effective means to prevent and extinguish fires in the BWMS space is to be submitted for review by ABS

Special Personnel Protective Equipment and Arrangements

A suitable number of protective suits, gloves, boots, gas masks, hermetically sealed filters, etc. are to be located at appropriate locations in the vicinity of the BWMS.

# Survey requirements #

The initial survey is to confirm that the following documentation is on board the vessel:

  1. A copy of the Type Approval Certificate of the BWMS together with a copy of the original test results for the BWMS
  2. A statement from the IMO Member State, or from a laboratory authorized by the IMO Member State, confirming the electrical and electronic components of the BWMS have been type-tested in accordance with the specification for environmental testing contained in Part 3 of the G8 Guidelines
  3. Equipment manuals for the major components of the BWMS
  4. A copy of the operations and technical manual for the BWMS specific to the vessel and approved by the IMO Member State
  5. Installation specifications of the BWMS
  6. Installation commissioning procedures of the BWMS
  7. Initial calibration procedures of the BWMS
  8. A copy of the approved BWMP
  9. Ballast water record book specific to the vessel

Following the amendments, ABS informs that the initial survey is also to confirm that the following documentation is on board the vessel (per 2016 G8 Guidelines/BWMS Code, paragraph 8.2)

  1. for the purpose of information, a copy of the Type Approval Certificate of BWMS
  2. the operation, maintenance and safety manual of the BWMS
  3. the ballast water management plan of the ship
  4. installation specifications, e.g. installation drawing, Piping and Instrumentation diagrams, etc.;
  5. installation commissioning procedures

To learn more, click on the guide herebelow