IMO Commissioning test roadmap


The commissioning testing, which validates the biological efficacy of a BWMS, is required at the ship’s initial survey or during an additional survey for retrofits.

The test is done to confirm that a BWMS is correctly installed on the ship and meets the D-2 discharge standard. The test is required only once but needs to be completed before the International Ballast Water Management Certificate (BWM Certificate) for D-2 is issued.

This requirement does not apply to ships that already have an installed BWMS certified under the BWMC.

Current regulation in place for Commissioning testing is BWM.2/Circ.70/ (Nov. 2018).

Substantial work has been undertaken to better understand the suitability of commercially available instruments using different technologies for commissioning testing.

MO MEPC 75 in November 2020 adopted the revised Guidance for the Commissioning Testing of Ballast Water Management Systems, which are released as BWM.2/Circ.70/Rev.1.

It provides clarification on several details of the commissioning test.

So, what is new?

Local ambient water should be used for testing.

Nevertheless, analysis of an uptake sample with ambient water is only optional.

A representative sample follows BWM.2/Circ.70 with the addition: The total sample volume should be at least 1 m3. If a smaller volume is validated to ensure representative sampling of organisms, it may be used.

Representative samples should be analyzed for the two organism size classes larger 50 µm and 10-50 µm, as specified in the D-2 standard, using indicative analysis methods listed in BWM.2/Circ.42/Rev.2.

These new rules are currently voluntarily and will come into force on July 1st 2022.