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Training is essential to comply with ballast regulations

Fri 19 May 2017

Training is essential to comply with ballast regulations

IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention includes references to training requirements. Guidelines G4, for example, explain that a ship’s Ballast Water Management Plan “should include training and education on ballast water management practices and the systems and procedures used on board the ship.”

The guidelines address the ballast water management and development of ballast water management plans and include a number of provisions for crew training and familiarisation. Some of these are general, about maintaining the Ballast Water Record Book, for example, but others are specific, requiring training on the operation and maintenance of installed ballast water treatment systems and on the safety aspects associated with the particular systems and procedures used on board the ship.

Similar training goals have been identified by the US Coast Guard (USCG). In an article published in January by the North American Marine Environment Protection Association, Rear Adm Paul Thomas, the USCG’s assistant commandant for prevention policy, said that it was imperative that vessel owners and operators review and update vessel ballast water management plans. These should include crew training requirements, specifically covering “proper procedures and use of any ballast water management equipment.”

In support of these objectives, a wide range of training options is available worldwide, provided by equipment manufacturers, class societies, government bodies and specialist training organisations. Those mentioned in these pages are typical of many others that can be found through online searches.

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