The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is inviting all stakeholders involved in the testing, approval, fitting and operation of ballast water management systems (BWMS) to complete online surveys as part of the IMO’s research to assess the implementation of BWMS guidelines and the performance of type-approved systems.
IMO plans to provide an all-encompassing review of the technical standards and approval testing procedures in the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8), initiated by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) at its 67th session in October 2014.
The surveys can be accessed at sites.google.com/a/wmu.se/d2study/ and will remain open until 1 June 2015. The following are invited to participate: Administrations and associated agencies; test facilities, organizations and independent experts; BWMS developers, manufacturers and vendors; classification societies; ship owners and operators; flag State and port State control inspectors; and other relevant experts, consultants or organizations.
The BWM Convention addresses the problem of aquatic organisms and pathogens being released into non-native environments after being transported around the world in ships' ballast water. Such organisms may survive and out-compete native species, becoming invasive and causing a great deal of damage to the local ecosystem, resources, infrastructure, as well as potentially to human health. The BWM Convention requires the management of ballast water in order to prevent the transfer of such microorganisms or species.
The BWM Convention will enter into force 12 months after ratification by 30 States which collectively represent 35 per cent of world merchant shipping tonnage. The number of ratifying States (44) is already sufficient but, at 32.86 percent, their collective share of world merchant shipping tonnage is not quite sufficient to trigger entry into force.
The surveys will remain open until June 1, 2015.