Ballastwater Equipment Manufacturers’ Association receives IMO recognition
The Ballastwater Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (BEMA) announced that they have been granted Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Consultative Status by IMO. This designation will allow 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 BWMS.
As explained, BEMA applied for NGO Consultative status in March of 2020 but due to COVID-19, the decision-making process was delayed for new NGO applications until the 34th Extraordinary Council session. At that meeting that took place last November, Council decided to grant BEMA Consultative Status, and this approval was confirmed by recent IMO Assembly.
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", said Dr. Efi Tsolaki, President of BEMA adding that 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.”, Dr. Tsolaki also commented.
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", said Marcie Merksamer, Secretary General of the Association.
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.