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Hot Port News from GAC: GloBal TestNet group launched

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In this HOT PORT NEWS, read about:
* Worldwide – GloBal TestNet group launched

DATE: October 22, 2013
COUNTRY: Worldwide
GAC-newA new formal group of organizations involved in testing for the
certification of ballast water treatment systems has been set up, known as the “GloBal TestNet”, to facilitate increased standardization and harmonization of test procedures and information exchange.

The move is expected to benefit test facility clients as well as the
end-users of ballast water treatment technologies: the ship owners who need
cost-effective and environmentally-friendly systems  to meet the
requirements of the International Convention for the Control and Management
of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention), 2004.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the GloBal TestNet was
signed on   21 October 2013 by representatives of 16 ballast water
treatment system testing organizations, during a pre-conference event held
as part of the 5th Global Ballast Water Management R&D Forum and
Exhibition, being held in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 23 to 25 October

….The signing of the GloBal TestNet MoU follows four years of discussion
among testing organizations, which have met several times under the
auspices of the Global Industry Alliance (GIA), established within the
framework of the GloBallast Partnerships Programme.

It is expected that other testing organizations worldwide may join the
GloBal TestNet in the future. The GloBal TestNet is open to any
organization involved in the generation of data from land-based and/or
shipboard testing for the certification of ballast water management
systems, under the 2004 BWM Convention and relevant Guidelines or other
test protocols….

….The GloBal TestNet aims to achieve greater levels of standardization,
transparency and openness in the process of technology approvals and thus
raise the standards of quality control and quality assurance, in what can
be a complex testing process. The signing marks an important milestone in
the global effort to address the problem of invasive species transferred
through ships’ ballast water and addresses concerns within the shipping
industry about a perceived lack of standardisation and harmonization among
ballast water treatment technology test organizations.

The BWM Convention was adopted to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic
organisms from one region to another, by establishing standards and
procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and
sediments. Once it enters into force, the treaty will require all ships to
implement a Ballast Water and Sediments Management Plan. All ships will
have to carry a Ballast Water Record Book and will be required to carry out
ballast water management procedures to a given standard.

Guidelines on approval of ballast water management systems have been
adopted by IMO. Reliability and consistency of the test methodologies used
is seen as extremely important, in order to meet ship owners’ expectations
that technologies approved and installed on ships have global acceptance,
irrespective of the testing organizations used to test and approve them.

The GloBal TestNet will provide a neutral platform for information sharing
and help ensure that all testing is comparable and in conformity, while
delivering to the end users of the treatment technologies a greater level
of transparency and provide tools for meaningful assessment and comparison
of the different systems available on the market.

This is also expected to contribute to the timely implementation and
ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention, which has, to
date, been ratified by 38 Parties, representing 30.38 per cent of world
merchant shipping tonnage. It will enter into force 12 months after
ratification by at least 30 States, representing 35 per cent of world
merchant shipping tonnage.

(For information about operations worldwide, contact the respective GAC
office. Details may be found at www.gac.com/worldwide)

Source: Extract from International Maritime Organisation – www.imo.org –
briefing dated 22 October 2013

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