On-board ACM Disposal, IHM, Green Ship Recycling

BWMs Commissioning Testing

What is the BMWS Commissioning testing?

The latest 2020 guidance for the commissioning tasting of ballast water management systems as adopt by MEPC 75.

The purpose of commissioning testing is to validate the installation of a ballast water management system (BWMS) by demonstrating that its mechanical, physical, chemical and biological processes are working properly. Commissioning testing is not intended to validate the design of type-approved BWMS that are approved by the Administration.

Why is it needed?

Required globally from 1 June 2022 onwards for all installations (parties of the Conventions and ships sailing to parties of the conventions) – (amendments to regulation E-1 of the BWM Convention)

  • Requirement for early implementation by some flag States such as: Australia, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, India, Panama (Jan-Mar 2020), Singapore, Tuvalu
  • Recommended by Liberia, Panama (since Mar 2020), Bahamas

Recognition of testing laboratories by Classification societies to ensure quality

  • To the satisfaction of the RO surveyor, as a default
  • Required by ABS, LR, DNV

BMWS Commissioning testing process

MWS Commissioning testing is in accordance with BWM.2/Circ.70/Rev.1 on “2020 Guidance for the commissioning testing of ballast water management systems” .Local ambient water should be used, and the steps can be summarized as follows.

a)Sampling of ambient water (optional)

To characterize the ambient water, a sample may be collected during ballast water uptake. This can be done by any means practical, e.g. using an inline sample port or taking a sample directly from the harbour. An indicative analysis is sufficient to char-acterize the ambient water, so no detailed analysis of the uptake water is required.

b)Sampling of ballast water discharge

A sample of the ballast water discharge should be collected after full treatment has been applied, in accordance with the Guidelines on ballast water sampling (G2). The sample should be representative of the whole discharge of ballast water from any single tank or combination of tanks being discharged. It should be collected as close as possible to the overboard discharge point and during ballast water discharge whenever feasible.

c)Evaluation of compliance with IMO D-2

The respective samples should be analysed to confirm ballast water treatment performance that indicates compliance with the IMO D-2 discharge standard. Using reliable and accurate indicative* analysis methods, the size classes included in the standard need to be evaluated:

  • - Organisms ≥50μm
  • - Organisms ≥10μm and <50μm

* Note that none of the indicative methods defined in Table 3 of BWM.2/Circ.42/Rev.2 have been fully evaluated thus far. Because the specified indicative methods are not yet validated, test organizations may instead recommend detailed methods they know to be reliable and accurate.


The sampling methods and analysis results should be documented for the flag state administration or the classification society authorized by the flag state as part of the written report on the wider commissioning testing.