During MEPC 74 back in 2019, IMO approved a draft amendment to the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) to conduct commissioning testing so as to demonstrate through representative sampling and indicative analysis that a BWMS is working properly. According to this amendment, approved in MEPC 75, sampling and analysis should be conducted at commissioning testing for BWMS installed on board ships on or after 1 June 2022.
The major revision points are specified below.
- Local ambient water should be used for testing regardless of the organism concentrations in the water.
- Representative samples should be analyzed for the two size classes of organisms, namely ≥ 50 μm, and ≥ 10 μm to < 50 μm, as specified in the D-2 standard, using indicative analysis methods. Analysis for microbes is not required.
- Prior to the entering into force of this amendment, following flag administrations require the early implementation so that the sampling analysis to be conducted in accordance with their instructions.
As such, ship operators are advised to observe the requirement for a commissioning test at any BWTS commissioning survey completed on or after 1 June 2022 accordingly. This test requires ballast water samples at the discharge line after treatment by the new BWTS and analysis of the samples by accepted laboratories. Hence, mandatory commissioning testing / sampling shall be considered in your contract with your BWTS manufacturer for commissioning after 1 June 2022.