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SGS is pleased to announce opening of the new testing monitoring facility in Northwest Russia focusing on ballast water management in the framework of VGP (Vessel General Permit).

While waiting for the unification of ballast water testing approaches

Currently the countries having ratified The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention) are actively discussing methodologies for ballast water quality testing to comply with D-2 standard. This is critical to implement the Convention’s requirements regarding ballast water monitoring. At the same time, national regulators understand the importance of harmonizing approaches, rules and norms used for ballast water testing. 

Meanwhile, different requirements apply in territorial waters of different countries, and shipowners are forced to comply with them.

Therefore SGS in Russia has implemented methods of the US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) and launched the testing facility to analyze ballast water and other types of ship water within VGP (Vessel General Permit).

Vessel General Permit – what is it? Ballast water management in the United States

VGP is a permit issued by EPA in 2008 and reissued in 2013 under the Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) that provided authority, on a nationwide basis, for discharges incidental to the normal operation of non-military and non-recreational vessels. The 2013 VGP established effluent limits, sampling, inspection, reporting, recordkeeping, and other requirements for 27 specific types (including ballast water, bilge water, gray water, etc.) of incidental discharges from vessels.

All vessels that fall under this requirement are obliged to obtain permission from the National Pollutant Discharge Prevention System (NPDES), and in particular VGP, before they legally make the above-mentioned discharge (and can legally operate) in US waters. Failure to obtain the NPDES permit may result in severe penalties under both civil and criminal codes. 

How SGS can help

Today, we are ready to provide ballast water testing within the VGP. 

Our new service is demanded by Russian shipowners and fleet operators entering the US territorial waters.

Alexandra Selivanova Alexandra Selivanova, Head of Environmental Projects, SGS in Russia
SGS Ballast Water Testing Services according to VGP are available in the following seaports located in Northwest Russia: 

  • Saint-Petersburg,
  • Ust-Luga,
  • Primorsk,
  • Vysotsk,
  • Vyborg.


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