D2 Commissioning Testing for BWTS

Ships carry water ballast for stability. This water is a big source of invasive species that threaten our marine biodiversity. To prevent the spread of these harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted The Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention). Vessels must install a Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS) to meet the discharge limits of this BWM Convention.

And prior to using a newly installed BWTS on board of a vessel, this complex and expensive piece of equipment must be Commissioning Tested in line with BWM.2/Circ.70 (and its revision 1). This test validates (or not) the installation of the BWTS by demonstrating that its mechanical, physical, chemical and biological processes are working correctly.

Using our own certified in-house inspectors and network of laboratories, our Commissioning Testing Services are designed to provide maximum flexibility for the timing of this test, and at that same time ensure a 95% success rate.  This is unmatched in the industry.


Ships have to carry water ballast for stability, and lots of it: more than 10 billion cm gets pumped in (ballasting) and out (deballasting), and transported across our oceans each year. From 8 September 2017 onwards, ships must manage their ballast water so that aquatic organisms and pathogens are removed or rendered harmless before the ballast water is released into a new location. This will help prevent the spread of invasive species as well as potentially harmful pathogens. The IMO stipulates that all merchant ships should comply no later than September 2024 with the so-called ‘D2 Discharge Standard’. This requires the installation of a BWTS, so a vessel is compliant with IMO (and USCG) discharge standards.

After the MEPC.75 of November 2020 it has become clear that Commissioning Testing will become mandatory for all BWTS-installations globally, as of June 1st 2022. Until this date, Commissioning Tests on behalf of Class are mandatory only for a selective number of flags.

Our Commissioning Testing Services

Our scope of our Commissioning tests is in line with currently prevailing IMO BWM.2/Circ.70/Rev.1 and in accordance with G2 guidelines, and builds on our group’s extensive work as USCG-Recognized Independent Laboratory for Type-Approvals of BWTS and world-class expertise within our team of sea water-experts.  We have secured our “Approved subcontractor”-status from all leading Class societies like ABS, DNV-GL, and Lloyds Register.

Vessel Performance Centre combines unmatched flexibility and state of the art training and operating procedures  with our global network of offices and laboratories that are ISO17025 accredited.

We offer Commissioning Testing Services where both Detailed and Indicative analyses is possible, in case requested with microbiological analyses or combined with our world class VGP 2013 Monitoring Services.

During the service development, we set 5 design objectives of our solution:

  • Instant results
  • Superior cost-efficiency
  • Standardized solution for market leading success rate of 95%
  • Careful Project Preparation avoiding unnecessary delays or failures
  • Stored evidence of findings for Class / Port State Control Authorities

We achieve our project success rate of 95% for completing our compliant sampling service on the agreed date, with our tested and standardized protocols for rigorous preparation before execution. This way we avoid unnecessary delays, rework or failures (i.e. costs). And this we accomplish by early collaboration with the crew and thorough planning prior to the actual sampling activity.

Our sampling and analysis protocols have been developed with and vetted by in-house experts from Control Union Certifications, our US Coast Guard-accepted independent lab for BWMS type approval testing per 46 CFR 162.060. We use our proprietary equipment to achieve sub-isokinetic flows, and perform our Indicative tests with state of the art Automated microscopy tools and algorithms (listed in MEPC.74-Inf.18) to give instant and reliable results.

To ensure the highest quality standards, all our procedures are managed via our online ISO 9001-certified quality management system. Our online reporting web-platform that is accessible 24/7 globally, ensures swift and secure client access to test results; it is. 

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