Which steps are taken in a type Approval Test?
There is not just one test in order to get Type Approval. A series of prescribed tests have to be conducted on different types of water: marine, brackish and fresh. Prior to a test, a plan will be drafted by the professionals of MEA-nl. This plan has to be approved by the national administration taking care of the certification. There are different phases to a Type Approval test:
These tests can be conducted on our floating test facility, the MEA-Innovator. The BWMS will be preferably installed in a 20ft container and connected to our test facility. Challenge water can be augmented and analyzed to meet test criteria at intake. After the required holding time water will be discharged, sampled and analyzed again.
- Shipboard tests
As part of the Type Approval test, shipboard tests have to be conducted. This will take at least six months.
- Toxicity tests
BWMS making use of active substances (using or producing), have to prove that they are safe for the environment under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention). The Procedure (G9) prescribes that Basic Approval and Final Approval by the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) are part of the Type Approval test process. Samples have to be analyzed on Disinfection By-Products (DBP) and Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) on vertebrates, non-vertebrates and plants. Results will be submitted via the national administration to the GESAMP Ballast Water Working Group in accordance with the applicable Methodology for approval. Prior to full-scale testing, bench scale tests have to be conducted and a Basic Approval dossier has to be approved by MEPC. After Basic Approval and during the validation tests, samples will be taken and analyzed to confirm the results of the Basic Approval. Those results will be compiled in the Final Approval dossier and also submitted. Slightly different is the US approach in this respect. The US also requires tests, but these are very prescriptive and mostly on chronic toxicity.
The Type Approval test follows the ETV Protocol. This protocol describes the tests to be performed in detail, including analytical methods for Type Approval test of a Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) under the US legislation. For the US, like a VIDA Test, also land-based and shipboard tests have to be undertaken. Those tests have to be conducted via an Independent Laboratory (IL), such as Lloyd’s Register EMEA or PIA GmbH.