Inspections of ballast water and hull fouling

In years and months to come, flag states, port authorities and classification societies will have the responsibility to enforce the new requirements from the IMO Ballast Water Convention and the control of invasive species via hull fouling. MEA-nl carries out such compliance controls, on request and on behalf of port authorities.


MEA-nl carries out land-based and shipboard test for type-approval of ballast water management and filtration systems. In most cases, this takes place under supervision of national authority and/or classification society.

Besides this, MEA-nl is able to:

  • Test your ballast water management system (BWMS) after installation on-board
  • Control legal compliance of your BWMS by executing controls at frequent intervals (for instances special, intermediate and annual surveys)

Ballast water and port authorities

New regulations from the global IMO Ballast Water Convention will be implemented to prevent the spread of invasive species via ships. Additionally, some local and national requirements have been established in some ports around the world. As a port authority, you will be responsible for the enforcement of these policies and legislation.

This creates a major challenge in your day to day work: how will you ensure whether the ships visiting your port comply with these new regulations?

MEA-nl can visit any port in the Hamburg-Rotterdam-Antwerp range with a mobile test unit (link naar page met auto en mobiele faciliteit). With this unit, we can take samples en carry out accurate and specific analyses.

Advise and support in relation to inspections

The new tasks deriving from the ballast water regulations are a relative new area of expertise. Expertise that is often absent or insufficiently developed at port authorities. With our multi-expertise of marine biology, chemistry and shipping, MEA-nl is fully equipped to assist you in such matters. Experts from the MEA-nl team can test the operation of ballast water management systems on specific ships in your port. MEA-nl is your knowledgeable and independent partner in designating whether ballast water regulations are met in your port area.

How can we assist you with enforcement procedures & policies and inspections?

Compliance control

On behalf of a number of national and port authorities, MEA-nl carries out surveys on water discharges, including ballast water. We advise these authorities about the content and application of enforcement standards.

Disputes and issues of compliance

As an independent organization with specialized expertise, we also assist ship owners by providing advise and re-appraisal (counterchecks) when problems and/or disputes occur. For example, we can advise ship owners how to prove compliance with the applicable regulations by proving appropriate performance of a given system.


Under certain conditions, exemptions of ballast water treatment can be obtained by a ship. In some cases, having a ballast water management system on board is not compulsory. To achieve this, MEA-nl can execute a thorough risk analysis and carry out and provide the required reporting procedures and documents.


MEA-nl advises manufacturers, ship owners and governments about ballast water management, filtration and hull fouling. When doing so, we carefully analyse your demand and assist you in finding the best solution. We assist technology developers on both a system- and component level and we advise ship-owners on choosing the most appropriate system, based on operation area and on-board circumstances.

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