The IMO G8 guidelines define the type approval process for ballast water treatment systems under IMO legislation. Originally defined in 2005, they underwent a critical revision in 2016. That revision enters into force on 28 October 2020.
The revised G8 guidelines, also referred to as the BWMS Code, are robust and more in line with today’s U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requirements. They were developed because some ballast water treatment systems approved according to the original G8 guidelines may fail to meet the IMO D-2 performance standard in practice.
The push for the revised G8 guidelines was driven partly by customer organizations like the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The intent was to make sure that investments in ballast water treatment will meet discharge requirements – instead of merely adding hardware.
The deadline for ballast water treatment systems to comply with the IMO revised G8 guidelines is rapidly approaching. In fact, the implementation date of 28 October 2020 has consequences already now.
If the installation of a ballast water treatment system falls on or after 28 October 2020, the system has to be type approved according to the revised G8 requirements.
Until that date, systems approved under the former G8 guidelines can still be installed. No upgrades to these systems will be necessary. But once the date arrives, installation of a system purchased without revised G8 type approval will not be permitted for global use.
Ballast water treatment systems selected today will likely be installed after the implementation date. This means you should choose a system with revised G8 type approval.
Unfortunately, only a handful of suppliers have received updated type approvals for their systems – or have even begun the process. The robustness of the revised G8 procedures means type approval can take time, and success is not guaranteed.
Taking a risk could leave you committed to a system that cannot be used globally. Since IMO legislation applies everywhere outside United States waters, 95% of world ports could be out of reach to your vessel.
When selecting for installations in 2020 and beyond, the only safe bet is a ballast water treatment system that already has IMO revised G8 type approval. Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 was the first to receive it – and remains one of the few solutions that have.
Providing compliance without limiting global vessel operations has always been the focus for Alfa Laval and PureBallast 3. Since the vast majority of the world’s ports fall under IMO jurisdiction, being ready before the revised G8 implementation date was a high, early priority.
Tests with marine, brackish and fresh water were completed under the new G8 regime in Q3 2017. PureBallast 3 received the industry’s first revised G8 certificate in February 2018 – with no changes to its hardware or power consumption.
This means Alfa Laval customers can look ahead with confidence. PureBallast 3 will continue to provide market-leading performance, even after 28 October 2020.
Here are answers to some to common questions regarding the type approval of PureBallast 3 according to the IMO revised G8 guidelines.
Two additional land-based tests of biological efficacy, performed without holding time, had to be conducted in each water salinity. The component environmental tests are more in line with the requirements of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). This means that the requirements are more stringent compared to the original 2008 G8 requirements.
No new hardware has been added, but a conductivity sensor is integrated to the flow meter to determine which salinity the system is being operated in. For operation in fresh water, a flow control function has been included, which allows reduced flow in challenging waters in order to meet UVT limits.
It is not necessary to upgrade. IMO has issued a resolution stating that vessels which have installed legacy systems should not be penalized.
The IMO revised G8 requirements enter into force on 28 October 2020, but nearly all ballast water treatment systems selected today will be installed after that date. To be eligible for installation on or after 28 October 2020, the system must have IMO revised G8 type approval by that time. Given that the more stringent type approval process can be long and difficult, customers make a safe choice by selecting a system that has already succeeded.
With many years of experience, we can guide you to the right PureBallast 3 solution for your vessel. Contact us to get secured compliance that secures access to ports all over the world.