In January 2010, a first ever forum for organizations involved in the testing of BWM treatment technologies was held in Sweden. The meeting was supported by the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme. The meeting served as a first step towards increased dialogue and harmonization between test facility operators.
Following that first meeting, the test facilities convened for a second time in 2010 in Singapore where the group agreed to start formalizing their commitments to harmonize their approaches to testing under the G8/G9 Guidelines through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the facilities.
The group met again in Istanbul, Turkey in 2011, Singapore in 2012 and in Busan, Republic of Korea in 2013. It was in Busan that the MoU establishing the GloBal TestNet was signed during a pre-conference event held as part of the fifth Global Ballast Water Management R&D Forum and Exhibition.
The 6th Global TestNet Forum was hosted by PML in Plymouth, UK in December 2014 with the purpose of establishing a secretariat and to contribute to the IMO debate on improving the G8 test guideline of BWMS.
At the meeting it was agreed that the secretariat would initially be based in Plymouth, UK and that the secretariat would be rotated sequentially among the three continents, usually on an annual basis.