During both events, MEA-nl stressed the importance of the five year experience building phase. The real test of the efficacy of any BWTS will be on-board of ships. Such efficacy tests - based on IMO’s G2 Guidelines for Ballast Water Sampling - can be pragmatic and take place at relatively low costs. Results of such tests will be essential for on-going BWTS improvements.
Amongst all the uncertainties surrounding BWC implementation, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. During MEA-nl’s ten year experience of testing BWTS, we found that the majority of the systems performed 10 to 100 times better than the D-2 standard of the Ballast Water Convention. This illustrates that generally, the technical performance of treatment systems is high and sufficient.
An additional plea from MEA-nl during both events was to allow the shipping industry some flexibility and time for implementation. And, last but not least, it was stressed that experience building can only work in a ‘safe’ environment. On-board monitoring must take place with a guarantee that its results will not be used for enforcement purposes. MEA-nl hopes to contribute significantly to this monitoring, experience building and… eventually, a successful implementation of the Convention.