IMO Revised G8 Guidelines Entered Force

DESMI Ocean Guard CompactClean has been approved since September 2018.

The DESMI Ocean Guard CompactClean BWMS was one of the first BWMS to achieve IMO type approval according to the IMO BWMS code. The approval was issued on 21 September 2018 and includes no operational limitations of the BWMS in terms of salinities, water temperatures or holding times.

“We have had focus on the IMO BWMS code for quite some time now,” says Rasmus Folsø, CEO DESMI Ocean Guard A/S. “Our customers need the best solution, which is prepared for the future and has the right approvals. Total compliance and operability with no limitations is essential.”

According to Folsø, this focus is rewarded by the customers: “Total compliance and operability with no limitations is essential. Throughout 2020 we have experienced a solid increase in our order intake, and our position as one of the market leaders has been cemented.”

The evolution of the IMO G8 Guideline into the BWMS Code, and what it means

An important part of the IMO ballast water convention has since day 1 been the guideline for approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS), also called G8.

More formally that Guideline was called MEPC.174(58), and it was adopted on 10 October 2008. Although this early guideline contained significant and detailed descriptions of tests to be completed and procedures to be followed in order to issue an IMO type approval to a BWMS, it over the years became apparent that the guideline could be improved. Shipowners were increasingly experiencing that BWMS approved according to this guideline did not always perform as expected when installed and operated on their vessels.

In an effort to make the type approval requirements for Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) more robust, the original IMO Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8) (MEPC.174(58)) were revised and on 28 October 2016 these revised G8 Guidelines (MEPC.279(70)) were adopted by IMO.

This revised guidelines included several clarifications and also more stringent requirements to the required type approval tests, all with the aim to ensure more robust and better performing BWMS. Some of the more significant new requirements were:

  1. Landbased testing required in all three salinities if the BWMS should be approved for use in all three salinities.
  2. During shipboard testing the BWMS should be installed in a manner that would allow it to be used for all the vessel’s ballast operations in the 6 months test period.
  3. It should be documented that the BWMS were used for all the ship’s ballast operations during the shipboard testing period, and not just the 5 required shipboard tests.
  4. Test facilities should be independent of the BWMS manufacturer.

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