Advancing Ballast Water Management: IACS Recommendation 180


The transportation of ballast water has long been recognized as a potential threat to marine ecosystems, as it can introduce harmful aquatic organisms and invasive species. In response, the maritime industry has prioritized the implementation of effective Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) to mitigate these risks.

Harmonizing Implementation Efforts

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) approval of the “2020 Guidance for the commissioning testing of BWMS” was a significant milestone in streamlining the implementation of Ballast Water Management (BWM) regulations. Now, the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has further bolstered these efforts with the development of a comprehensive Recommendation (Rec. 180) to facilitate smooth, effective, and harmonized implementation of commissioning test requirements.

Validating Proper System Functionality

Rec. 180 provides essential guidance for conducting commissioning tests of BWMS during initial surveys and subsequent assessments triggered by system changes or repairs. These tests play a crucial role in validating the proper functioning of mechanical, physical, chemical, and biological processes within the system, ensuring compliance with international regulations and minimizing ecological damage.

Establishing Best Practices

Derived from practical experience and industry feedback, Rec. 180 outlines recommended practices and preparation steps for ship operators to ensure seamless and efficient execution of commissioning tests. The utilization of recommended reporting forms enhances transparency throughout the testing process, fostering industry-wide best practices for ballast water management.

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Source: IACS