The newly formed Ballastwater Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (BEMA) appointed a board of directors at its first AGM last week (19 April), a statement released on Tuesday (24 April) has confirmed. Its president is Hyde Marine senior market manager Mark Riggio and its secretary general is vice president of EnviroManagement, Marcie Merksamer. Both were members of BEMA’s initial formation committee.
The idea to form an association of ballast water equipment manufacturers dates back many years, BEMA’s statement said. “What makes this time different,” Mr Riggio said, “is the realisation that we needed to have a unified voice in the conversation.” Ms Merksamer said it had been encouraging “to see how enthusiastically the equipment manufacturers have embraced the organisation.”
According to the organisations’ formational document, BEMA’s basic purpose is to provide manufacturers and service providers in the ballast water treatment market with leadership and a unified voice.
BEMA’s statement said that the impetus for creating the association came from MEPC 71’s decision to delay implementation dates in IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention. After that, “a small group of dedicated industry insiders gathered in New York City to draw up the framework of what was to become BEMA,” the statement said. Its April AGM followed an earlier meeting on 9 March at which a set of bylaws and other documents were drafted.
Ecochlor chief executive Steve Candito, who is a member of BEMA’s board of directors, reported approaches from ICS, BIMCO, and other shipowner associations “to discuss the important implementation challenges. The industry wants to discuss solutions and we are ready to talk,” he was quoted in BEMA’s statement.
• BEMA’s other elected officers are: vice president, Efi Tsolaki of Erma First; treasurer, Birgir Nilsen of Optimarin; secretary, Andrew Marshall of Coldharbour. Its board of directors includes representatives from, in alphabetical order, Ecochlor, Cathelco, Coldharbour, Desmi Ocean Guard, Erma First, Evoqua, Optimarin, Panasia and Wӓrtsilӓ.
The association has defined six key objectives:
• Represent and serve as a central, common voice for ballast water equipment manufacturers.
• Provide the shipping industry with design and operational expertise to balance the directives and opinions of regulators, shipowner organisations, scientific testing networks, and environmental organisations that influence the requirements that directly impact the manufacturers as stakeholders in the ballast water treatment community.
• Participate at IMO level and give technical support to all stakeholders as outlined in Article 13 of the BWM Convention by providing knowledge about the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance, and long-term functionality of ballast water treatment systems.
• Provide and stimulate authoritative organised research, education and information exchange within the industry and with other industries, government bodies, and interested organisations.
• Mobilise and finance volunteer, internal staff, and external professional expertise to provide the required range of service to members.
• To maintain a liaison to and co-operate with the governmental agencies and allied trade and professional associations throughout the world.