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SOUTH KOREAN BWTS IN TYPE APPROVAL DISPUTE

Thursday, February 13, 2020 

Reports in the South Korean media suggest that the national Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOF) has cancelled its type approval of the Glo-En ballast water treatment system produced by local company Panasia.

The basic issue appears to be that certain parts of the production systems differ from the parts fitted to the unit during its Korean type approval test, as well as discrepancies in the type approval applications between that of MOF and of the Korean Register of Shipping. The cancellation affects 48 models of Panasia’s BWTS, which have reportedly been installed on a total of 1145 ships, 75 domestic and 1070 flagged internationally.

The ruling has been contested by Panasia, which has appealed against the decision. If an appeal scheduled for 13 March goes against the company, it will be forced to go through a new type approval process, and replace the equipment originally supplied. he potential cost to the company is estimated at a total of about 900 million Won. The situation is further complicated because if this is determined to be a ‘new’ installation, the replacement BWTS units may be required to conform to the later G8 standard rather than the original specification. This will depend too on whether any re-approval occurs before or after the renewal of the individual vessel’s IOPP certificate.

Panasia has pointed out that entirely separately from the Korean government type approval, it obtained type approval from the Norwegian authorities in August 2019, and the Korean Register approval was based on that. The spokesman added that the difficulty was not a performance-related issue, but a matter of administrative procedures resulting from a minor documentation error.

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