What is Water Compliance Testing for Shipping?

The much-needed shift towards a more sustainable shipping industry is resulting in new environmental regulations. These focus mainly on reducing emissions: both via air (for instance EU-MRV, CII / EEXI), as well as water (Ballast Water Convention, VGP 2013, MEPC.340(77)). To add complexity, while some regulations are global and coming from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), others are driven by individual countries or regions, deviating from their global counterparts.

Vessel owners and vessel managers must not only make the investments required to comply with regulations such as CII / EEXI or the Ballast Water Management Convention, they are also in need of qualified service-providers to test or evaluate their vessels’ compliance. Vessel owners will need services for: D-2 Commissioning Testing, WHO drinking water regulation, VGP 2013 Monitoring as well as Scrubber Wash Water Testing, depending on the specifics of each vessel and its voyage schedule. But how to select the right one? Which factors other than price should you to consider?

Why is it important to consider more aspects than just pricing when choosing your Service-provider?

The answer is simple, it will save you costs, time and frustration, and avoids setting yourself up for a failed test. By looking at the service offering in an organized and structured manner we can split the service-process into 3 elements:

Curious and have some questions?

How to choose the right Service Provider?

That’s simple: you are on the right path, you’re visiting their website! You can get your D2 Commissioning test now by simple sending us an e-mail or calling our main office in the Netherlands. In most cases, we have our trained and qualified inspectors on board of your good vessel one of the main shipping seaports around the globe. Even when you’re in a hurry, we can help you.

VPC, trusted all over the world

Control Union Vessel Performance Centre B.V. is part of Royal Peterson and Control Union. In addition, our Performance tooling unlocks the potential to improve fuel performance with tailormade solutions. For owners and operators we offer a range of solutions for your environmental compliance, including Water discharge monitoring (EPA VGP), commissioning testing (IMO BWM Convention) & system type approvals (USCG), CO2 emissions reporting & verification (EU MRV, IMO-DCS) as well as fuel compliance (IMO Sulphur Cap).

Our services combine our recognized expertise in marine biology with the strong execution by our own in-house network of local offices in over 150 main ports along all key trade routes. Our global program was designed in such way that your vessel’s operations are never interrupted – even when schedules slip or voyages are (re)routed. We provide VGP compliance without the fine print so commonly used in shipping, making our services easy to budget and with the highest levels of operational flexibility in the industry.

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Class Approvals

Control Union Vessel Performance Centre B.V. holds the “Approved subcontractor”- status from leading Class societies. Click the logo to see the certificate.

Control Union Certifications is a US Coast Guard-accepted Independent Laboratory (IL) for testing of BWMS in accordance with 46 CFR 162.060.

GHG Emissions Regulations

The EU requires Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (EU-MRV) for ships over 5,000 GT (and over 400 GT from 1 January 2025) calling European ports regardless of their Flag, as per EU Regulation 2015/757 and amending Regulation (EU)2023/957. Only Accredited Verifiers independent from the entity providing Monitoring and Reporting, can sign-off on Emissions Reports to be reported in Thetis-EU and included in each ships’ Document of Compliance (DoC).

IMODCS and China-DCS
In  2019 the IMO Data Collection System (IMODCS) became obligatory for vessels above 5,000 GT, to collect fuel use, emissions and ship service information per each vessel’s approved SEEMP II. This regulation is based on MARPOL Annex VI . Recognized Organizations (RO) like Class Societies verify IMODCS reports. The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration started its Data Collection on Energy Consumption (China-DCS): similar but different Emission reporting from any vessel calling specific Chinese ports per regulation from the MSA China Maritime Safety Administration in 2018 (contact us for your copy).

The Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII)  is a system for ships to gradually reduce emissions, that the IMO developed as a mandatory measure under MARPOL Annex VI since 1 January 2023. At that time IMO also implemented its Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) to rate energy-efficiency of different vessels, which is included in each vessel’s International Air Pollution Prevention (IAPP) Survey by Class.

From 1 January 2023, ships of 5,000 GT and above must have a verified Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP Part III) on board to document how their vessel plans to achieve its CII-targets.

Since  2022, all vessels that are subjected to EU-MRV have to collect data and report emissions per UK-MRV also, for their port calls in the United Kingdom. This is laid down in regulation MIN 669 (M+F) which is likely to be amended in the future.  Verifiers must be UKAS-accredited.

EU-ETS and EUA’s
From 1 January 2024 onwards the EU taxes Emissions from ships through its “cap-and-trade” European Trading System (EU-ETS). Directive (EU) 2023/959 requires vessel owners (or their mandated ISM Company) to purchase and surrender EU Allowances (EUA’s) matching their Emissions that are beyond their yearly allowance.

FuelEU Maritime
As of 2025, the EU is expected to launch its “book-and-claim” FuelEU Maritime Regulation (EU) 2023/1805 which promotes the use of renewable, low-carbon fuels and clean energy technologies for ships – from fuel production wells to ships’ wakes. Fleets of ships should actively lower their GHG intensity of fuels, by 2% in 2025 to 80% in 2050 or pay steep penalties otherwise.