The International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC), for which ACA serves as Secretariat, along with the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) International, has submitted a paper to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) entitled “Improved and New Technologies Approved for Ballast Water Management Systems and Reduction of Atmospheric Pollution” (BLG17/6). The paper will be discussed at the IMO meeting in London from Feb. 4–8, 2013.
The majority of the current type-approved ballast water management systems make use of active substances to comply with the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments. These substances may, depending on the substance, concentration, variation of operating conditions and exposure duration, have an adverse effect on the ballast tank coatings, ballast piping systems, and/or anodes within the tank. IPPIC and NACE International were invited to harmonize their recommendations on this matter, and to provide a joint submission to the IMO’s Subcommittee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (17th Session), or BLG 17.
IPPIC representatives in October 2012 attended the Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 64), held at the IMO, and participated in a Ballast Water Review Group. IPPIC regularly attends MEPC and other IMO meetings to provide technical assistance to the member states on antifouling and performance standards for protective coating issues.
At that time, IPPIC submitted an information, or INF, paper, to MEPC-64 (MEPC-64/INF.21) entitled, “Considerations Regarding Testing to Ensure Compatibility between Ballast Water Management Systems and Ballast Tank Coatings.” The paper was submitted in an effort to inform the IMO about the potential impact ballast water treatment systems can have on ballast tank coatings, and to highlight the need for a robust and scientifically sound methodology for evaluating the impact. NACE International submitted an INF paper laying out a proposed methodology to determine the compatibility between ballast water management systems and ballast tank coatings.
While IPPIC agreed with much of the NACE proposal, having been involved in its development, IPPIC spoke in the plenary session in order to address some remaining unresolved issues. IPPIC started by thanking a number of delegations for recognizing IPPIC’s concerns (laid out in an INF paper submitted to MEPC 63 (MEPC63/INF.9) regarding the need for a standardized test method to be carried out by Ballast Water Treatment manufacturers.
During the meeting, the issue of compatibility between ballast tank coatings and ballast water treatment systems was discussed in detail in the RG. IPPIC provided technical arguments, and expressed concerns related to the NACE proposal. Specifically, IPPIC stressed the need for verification of the test method. Further, without pass fail criteria — an element lacking in the NACE proposal — the proposed test method would create uncertainty on how to interpret the results. IPPIC’s concerns were well received by the RG, and the group invited IPPIC to work with NACE and submit a joint proposal to the Bulk Liquids and Gasses (BLG) 17 subcommittee in February 2013.
The RG finalized the report of the group, and the chairman of the RG presented the report to the committee. The report noted that the “Review Group agreed to invite IPPIC and NACE International to harmonize their recommendations and to provide a joint submission to BLG17 with the view to including it in the Methodology for information gathering and conduct of work of the GESAMP-BWWG.”
The results of the harmonization effort will be presented in the joint paper (BLG17/6), and will be discussed in detail at the upcoming February IMO meeting.