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Commissioning Testing of Ballast Water Management System


The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), at its seventy-third session (22 to 26 October 2018), approved Guidance for the commissioning testing of ballast water management systems published in circular BWM.2/Circ.70. The purpose of commissioning testing is to validate the installation of a ballast water management system (BWMS) by demonstrating that its mechanical, physical, chemical and biological processes are working properly. Commissioning testing is not intended to validate the design of BWMS that are already approved by the Administration.

Ships of 400 gross tonnage and above to which this Convention applies, excluding floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs.

At its seventy-forth session (13 to 17 May 2019), MEPC invited submission to the pollution prevention and response (PPR) subcommittee on recommendations for any necessary modifications to the guidelines for commissioning testing of ballast water management systems in accordance with the draft e-1 amendment to the BWM convention, which are intended to demonstrate the normal functioning of the BWMS through representative sampling and indicative analysis when commissioning testing are carried out.

On 19 February 2020, the PPR sub-committee issued the PPR7/WP.4/Add.1 circular containing the draft revision of the guidelines for the commissioning testing of ballast water management systems, which will be approved and revised at the MEPC 75 meeting (originally planned for 30 March to 3 April 2020, postponed to 16-20 November 2020 due to the COVID-19). This circular will replace BWM.2 / Circ.70.

Flag states implementation:

Commissioning test to verify the proper operation of equipment shall be carried out at the installation of any BWMS. MEPC 74 has approved a draft amendment to the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) to conduct commissioning test so as to demonstrate through representative sampling and indicative analysis that a BWMS is working properly, and this amendment will be adopted at MEPC 75.

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.

Instructions by flag administrations

Also, the following flag administrations recommend the early implementation of the sampling analysis.

instructions by flag administrations


Difference between BWM.2/Circ.70 and PPR7/WP.4/Add.1 

difference between BWM.2/CIRC.70 and PPR7/WP.4/ADD.1

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