BIMCO and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have published the first industry standard on in-water cleaning of ships, aiming to combat the issue of invasive species to local marine environments and provide clarity and quality assurance to shipowners, ports and government authorities.
The standard comes accompanied by an approval procedure for in-water cleaning companies, aiming to set minimum requirements for approval of cleaning companies for various types of operations.
This standard will help protect the environment in the port. Not only that, it will also help every organisation that is part of this process by raising the minimum standard of cleaning several notches higher and ensure that the end result is both a clean ship, and safe working practice,
…explains David Loosley, BIMCO secretary general.
According to the industry standard, at least 90% of the macrofouling must be captured by the cleaning company, and effluent water coming back into the sea will have removed organisms and materials down to a microscopic size (0.000001 metres).
The move comes as organisms growing on the ship increases its drag through the water and can reduce fuel efficiency of the ship by as much as 35%, leading to higher fuel bills and higher CO2 emissions. It is therefore important to remove the growths every couple of years. In response, several countries regions, such as USA, Australia, the Baltic Sea region, New Zealand, Hawaii and California, have put biofouling management high on the agenda, with regional and national regulation.
As explained, the standard details planning, the documentation and assessment part of the operation, as well as the actual cleaning, the management of the effluent – the water involved in the cleaning – including the capture of particles, before it is released back into the sea. It also includes:
- Criteria for the cleanliness of water pumped back to sea
- Methods to help shipowners act before the biofouling growth and coverage become severe
- An approval procedure for cleaning companies
- Minimum reporting requirements
- Minimum requirements for an inspection, service and cleaning reports
The industry will now work to implement the standards with a number of stakeholders, including of paint manufacturers, in-water cleaning companies, shipowners, ports, and classification societies. These stakeholders will have to update their procedures, which will lead to successful cleanings, and ultimately to a general wide-spread acceptance of the standard and associated certification and in more ports allowing in-water cleaning.
The standard was developed by a coalition of companies and organisations including: Akzo Nobel, BIMCO, C-Leanship, CMA Ships, DG Diving Group, Fleet Cleaner, Hapag-Lloyd, Hempel, HullWiper, International Association of Classification Societies, ICS, Minerva Shipping, Portland Port (UK), Port of Rotterdam and PPG Coatings.