Belgium Ports Implement Portable Ballast Water Tests
The Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport, the arm of the Belgium government responsible for shipping, has selected Chelsea Technologies to provide portable benchmark testing for compliance with ballast water standards. This follows the Belgium government’s decision to begin testing vessels calling at its ports and terminals to ensure they can demonstrate compliance with the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC), representing one of the first European nations to enforce this mandate.
Chelsea Technologies’ FastBallast portable ballast water analyzer was chosen by the FPS following an evaluation of portable ballast water tools available on the market. FastBallast will be deployed as a benchmark testing device to conduct spot checks on indicative sampling of vessels arriving into any Belgium port. Following a detailed technical review, FastBallast was identified as the most accurate solution for portable sampling of ballast water that allows Port State Control (PSC) to target vessels for laboratory compliance testing, as well as providing shipowners with assurance that their ballast water treatment system is operating effectively, mitigating the risk of potentially significant fines and costly delays.
The variance in portable ballast water testing standards is creating a significant challenge for regulators as they look to develop and establish agreed guidance for portable testing that ensures compliance with the BWMC, and this ambiguity is creating challenges for PSC even as the industry continues to embrace and adopt portable testing. FastBallast’s unique interrogation method operates independently of variable fluorescence per cell, ensuring that cell densities are reported as accurately as testing via microscopy. —Chelsea Technologies