SGS is pleased to announce that a new marine testing and analysis laboratory in Colón, Panama, has opened.
The services provided focus on the regulations of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Vessel General Permit (VGP), the World Health Organization (WHO) Drinking Water guidelines, and the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
The laboratory is conveniently situated to provide services on either side of the Panama Canal. Shipowners and operators can take advantage of their vessels’ waiting time prior to transiting by conducting testing to determine their environmental compliance and improve crew well-being.
Environmental Compliance: Testing According to the US EPA Vessel General Permit (VGP)
For ships sailing and discharging in US waters, sampling, analysis and reporting are required according to the EPA VGP (2013). This testing can take place anywhere in the world, and the new laboratory in Panama adds to SGS’s global network of more than 330 ports with marine services. Here, shipowner and operator needs are met for collecting and analyzing samples of ballast water as well as gray water. Notably, failure to conduct annual sampling, analysis and reporting according to the VGP can result in financial penalties.
Crew Well-Being: Testing According to WHO Drinking Water Guidelines and the MLC
To support the crew, vessels, and ship managers, SGS has developed the Crew Well-Being Monitored Program, which is a voluntary program carried out simultaneously with drinking water sampling and testing according to the World Health Organization Guide to Ship Sanitation (2011). The program has been developed to be consistent with Port State Control (PSC) inspection check lists to determine adherence to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006).
The inspections help identify and record areas of ship-borne public health risks and provide for better living conditions, which will benefit the crew. Additionally, it gives confidence to crew, owners and operators that they will comply with regulations and provide for lower chances of penalization from eventual PSC inspections.