News 02 Mar, 2017

Enforcement of US Ballast Water Discharge Regulations

As advised in Notice to Members No. 20 2016/2017 the USCG has recently approved three Ballast Water Management (BWM) systems. Gallagher Marine Systems have advised that subsequent to these approvals the USCG has been strictly enforcing the US Ballast Water Discharge Regulation during Port State Control (PSC) inspections. A copy of GMS' advisory can be found here GMS Client Advisory: US Ballast Water Discharge Regulation.

To comply with US Ballast Water Discharge Regulation ships must manage their ballast using one of the following:

  • Use of a USCG type approved BWM system;
  • Temporary use of a foreign type-approved BWM system that has been accepted by the Coast Guard as an alternate management system (AMS) (5-year limitation) if installed in compliance with 33 CFR Part 151;
  • Use and discharge ballast water obtained exclusively from a U.S. public water system;
  • Discharge of ballast water to a reception facility, and
  • No discharge of unmanaged ballast water inside 12 nm

During PSC examinations the USCG has been examining ballast water logs back to the vessel’s compliance date to verify compliance with one of the approved practices described above or under the coverage of an approved extension. If a failing is discovered, a deficiency is issued and a civil penalty may also result.

Members are advised to ensure that each vessel that calls a port under U.S. jurisdiction either complies with one of the approved BW management methods or is covered by an extended compliance date, with a copy of the letter kept aboard the vessel.

Members requiring further information should contact the Loss Prevention department