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News: Ballast Water Management for Singapore flagged ships

01 October 2019

Members with Singapore flagged ships are advised that the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has recently issued shipping circulars related to the commissioning testing of ballast water management systems (BWMS) and the incorporation of contingency measures into ballast water management plans (BWMP).

 

Commissioning Testing of Ballast Water Management Systems (Shipping Circular No. 9 of 2019)

Commissioning testing to verify the proper operation of equipment shall be carried out at the installation of any BWMS in accordance with the Guidelines for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8) (MEPC.174(58) or MEPC.279(70)). 

MEPC-74 has approved a draft amendment to the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) to conduct commissioning testing so as to demonstrate through sampling and analysis that a BWMS is working properly, and this amendment will be adopted at MEPC-75.

Prior to this amendment entering into force, all Singapore flagged ships of 400GT and above that complete the commissioning testing of a BWMS after 8 September 2019 will be required to collect and analyse samples of ballast water during the commissioning testing. Compliance with this requirement, however, is not mandatory for ships less than 400GT.

If, by chance, a commissioning test cannot be successfully carried out due to equipment or system design limitations, a short term BWM certificate may be issued for a period of not more than three months by the classification society provided that the attending class surveyor is able to verify the items described in paragraph 9 of the circular.

 
Incorporation of Contingency Measures into Ballast Water Management Plan (Shipping Circular No.10 of 2019)

MEPC-71 approved the Guidance on Contingency Measures under the BWMC so as to assist ships and Port States in applying sound and practical measures in situations where a ship is unable to manage its ballast water as required (BWM.2/Circ.62). Amendments related to this were subsequently adopted by MEPC-73 so as to include contingency measures in the BWMP.

Singapore flagged ships to which the BWMC applies are required to incorporate contingency measures into their BWMPs in accordance with BWM.2/Circ.62. These should be approved by a classification society and provided on board no later than the date when D-2 compliance becomes mandatory for the ship.

For existing Singapore flagged ships certified for D-2 only, contingency measures are to be incorporated into their BWMPs by the next scheduled survey for the BWMC.

The incorporation of contingency measures into the BWMP is also applicable for Singapore flagged vessels of less than 400 GT, floating platforms, floating storage units (FSUs) and Floating Production Storage and Offloading Units (FPSOs) by 8 September 2024 or upon the installation of a BWMS on board.

A ship-specific contingency measure could be approved as an appendix or an addendum to the BWMP. However, this does not mean that Singapore flagged ships have permission to discharge unmanaged ballast water without Port Authority authorisation.