Last week’s meeting of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71) granted type-approvals to three more ballast water management systems (BWMSs). The meeting also made a number of other decisions, which have been summarised by class society ABS.
• Techcross of Korea received final approval for its ECS-Hybrid device while basic approval was given to the Envirocleanse inTank system and to Kashiwa’s Microfade II BWMS.
• Ballast water exchange: A circular was approved addressing ships operating in sea areas where ballast water exchange, in accordance with regulations B-4.1 and D-1, cannot be carried out.
• Code for approval of BWMSs: The committee approved a code for approval of BWMSs along with amendments to the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) that mandate that systems be approved under the code.
• Survey and certification: Two areas relating to survey and certification issues were agreed as a unified interpretation and will be issued as a new circular at MEPC 72 in April 2018.
• Guidelines on contingency measures: The committee approved guidelines on contingency measures under the BWMC that provide guidance to shipowners and port states when dealing with a vessel arriving with non-compliant ballast water.
• Experience-building phase: The committee adopted a resolution on the experience-building phase associated with the BWMC. It outlines a rational explanation of expected activities leading up to and following entry into force of the convention.
• Same risk area concept: The committee adopted amendments to the G7 Guidelines for undertaking a risk assessment as per regulation A-4 of the BWMC. The amendments describe how risk assessments carried out for the same risk area can be supported by validated, numerical modelling of hydrodynamic, environmental and meteorological conditions.
• For details of each of these points, read the ABS briefing here.