6 Ballast water sampling and analysis
6.1 In accordance with article 9 of the Convention, a Party may sample the ship’s ballast water for the purpose of determining whether the ship is in compliance with the Convention in accordance with these Guidelines.
6.2 Any sampling protocol for testing of compliance with the Convention should observe the following principles to help ensure consistency of approach between Parties and to provide certainty to the shipping industry:
- the sampling protocol should be in line with these Guidelines;
- the sampling protocol should result in samples that are representative of the whole discharge of ballast water from any single tank or any combination of tanks being discharged;
- the sampling protocol should take account of the potential for a suspended sediment load in the discharge to affect sample results;
- the sampling protocol should provide for samples to be taken at appropriate discharge points;
- the quantity and quality of samples taken should be sufficient to demonstrate whether the ballast water being discharged meets with the relevant standard;
- sampling should be undertaken in a safe and practical manner;
- samples should be concentrated to a manageable size;
- samples should be taken, sealed and stored to ensure that they can be used to test for compliance with the Convention;
- samples should be fully analysed within test method holding time limit using an accredited laboratory; and
- samples should be transported, handled and stored with the consideration of the chain of custody.
6.3 Prior to testing for compliance with the D-2 standard, it is recommended that, as a first step, an indicative analysis of ballast water discharge may be undertaken to establish whether a ship is potentially compliant or non-compliant. Such a test could help the Party identify immediate mitigation measures, within their existing powers, to avoid any additional impact from a possible non-compliant ballast water discharge from the ship.
6.4 In emergency or epidemic situations, port States may use alternative sampling methods which may need to be introduced at short notice and should endeavour to communicate these to ships entering ports under their jurisdiction. Although in such situations they may not necessarily notify the Organization, such notification could be beneficial for other Parties.
6.5 Alternative sampling measures instigated as a result of paragraph 6.4 should give due cognizance to the requirements of article 12 of the Convention.
6.6 Given the complexity in ballast water sampling and analysis, it is likely that new approaches will be developed for ballast sampling and analyses of the composition, concentration, and viability of organisms. Administrations are encouraged to share information concerning methods for the analysis of ballast water samples, using existing scientific reports, and papers distributed through the Organization.
6.7 The Organization should make available, through any appropriate means, information communicated to it regarding ballast water sampling and analysis.
6.8 Further guidance on the interpretation of the results arising from sample analysis will be developed by the Organization in due course.