The Ballastwater Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (BEMA) has announced that they received news from the IMO that they have been granted Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Consultative Status. This designation allows BEMA to attend IMO meetings and contribute to the work of the IMO by submitting technical input and providing specialized operational and technical expertise on ballast water management systems (BWMS).
BEMA applied for NGO Consultative status in March of 2020. Due to COVID-19, the decision-making process was delayed for new NGO applications until the 34th Extraordinary Council session that took place remotely from 8th-12th of November 2021. At that meeting, Council decided to grant BEMA Consultative Status, and this approval was confirmed by the IMO Assembly during their recent meeting from 6 – 15 December 2021. BEMA is pleased that completion of the IMO’s NGO application process has led to the recognition of BEMA by the IMO. “Achieving NGO Consultative Status is giving us the opportunity to provide design and operational expertise, as well as balance to the numerous perspectives from regulators, ship owner organizations, scientific testing networks, and environmental organizations that influence the requirements or stipulations that directly impact the manufacturers as stakeholders in the ballast water treatment community,” says Dr. Efi Tsolaki, President of BEMA.
“Several aspects of BEMA’s mission and purpose are well aligned with that of the IMO’s Strategic Goals. The marine industry is currently in the process of implementing the Ballast Water Management Convention and the expertise that BEMA brings to the conversation will help inform the challenges of implementation and will provide a technical voice to future conversations about preventing aquatic invasive species transfer through vessels.”
BEMA was formed in 2017 and held their first meeting in 2018. Their membership includes many industry stakeholders including BWMS manufacturers, marine equipment companies, test facilities, scientists, ballast water compliance tool manufacturers, students and more. “BEMA is a global organization, with members on nearly every continent and spanning the entire breadth of the ballast water industry,” says Marcie Merksamer, Secretary General of the Association. “BEMA represents the entire scope of the industry and brings a unique voice that has been validated by the IMO through granting NGO Consultative Status. BEMA is grateful for the IMO’s acceptance and looks forward to the contributions that can be made to support the IMO’s work and the maritime industry.
With this recognition by the IMO, BEMA is now allowed to actively participate in IMO meetings. BEMA is thoughtfully considering submissions that can be made to the IMO based on their technical capability and in cooperation with the needs of the maritime industry. Although BEMA and it’s Members already have close relationships with other industry associations, they look forward to working even more closely now that they can fully participate in the regulatory process at IMO.
BEMA is an independent trade organization representing vendors, suppliers, and key partners in the ballast water treatment industry by providing coordinated, technical, non-commercial guidance to the market, including the regulating community, ship owners, and the testing community about how ballast water treatment systems work, how they are designed, and what the reasonable expectations are in regard to their performance.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News