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Type Approval


Type approval procedure

Ballast water management systems meeting all requirements of the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8) (Resolution MEPC.174(58)) may obtain approval for installation on board ships from the BSH, the competent authority in Germany. In that case, a type approval certificate is issued for the approved system.

As part of the type approval procedure, the manufacturer has to provide proof of the biological efficacy of the treatment system in an extensive land-based testing procedure in conformity with the G8 requirements. The decisive criterion is compliance with the standard specified in Regulation D-2 of the Ballast Water Convention.

In addition shipboard tests have to be conducted in order to evaluate the performance of the ballast water treatment system installed. Evidence of efficient shipboard operation of the system without compromising the safety of the ship or crew and without posing a threat to the marine environment or to human health has to be provided.

If a ballast water management systems uses active substances, the requirements of the Procedure for approval of ballast water management systems that make use of active substances (G9) (Resolution MEPC.169(57)) have to be met additionally. In this procedure, proof of the environmental compatibility and application safety of the active substance has to be provided.

The approval procedure for active substances comprises two steps: the basic approval and the final approval. The basic approval allows the manufacturer to use the active substance(s) in the type approval testing procedure. The final approval confirms that use of the active substance(s) has proved to be safe in the type approval test procedure.

Whether or not an active substance is approved for use is decided by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization, based on the recommendation of the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection - Ballast Water Working Group (GESAMP-BWWG). The application for approval is submitted to MEPC by the approval authority or competent national authorities.

Within the framework of the approval process at BSH other national authorities are involved and provide their respective expertise: The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) for matters concerning eco-toxicology, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) for the toxicological examination of the applications, the Transport and Traffic Insurance Association (BG Verkehr) for aspects concerning ship safety.

Finally, in special cases and with reference to the EU biocide directive,  the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) is involved for checking the marketability of the substances that are used for disinfection, if applicable. 

Information for Applicant

The Ballast Water Management Convention, its relevant Guidelines, and related Documents (NSBWO) (PDF, 9,4 MB)

Methodology for information gathering and conduct of work of the GESAMP-BWWG (latest version) (PDF, 973 KB)

Fee Regulation of the BSH (BSHGebV)

Additional information about Type Approval Certificates issued.



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Sabine Reuland, phone +49 40 3190 - 7411
or e-mail

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 © 2018 Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie Last Update: 14.01.2016 13:46:07  
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