News 28 Feb, 2012

USA - State of New York Ballast Water Requirements - Further Update

In June 2010 Members were advised of New York State’s stringent new ballast water management requirements which would affect the majority of vessels falling within the ambit of the Vessel General Permit (VGP) regulations from 1 January 2012. Such vessels, when in New York State waters, would not be permitted to discharge ballast water unless it had been treated to a standard 100 times more stringent than that required by IMO’s “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water & Sediments 2004” which has not yet entered into force.

Further to the above the Club advised in February 2011 that the implementation date had been extended to 1 August 2013 in order to allow time for the development and fitting to vessels of ballast water treatment systems meeting the New York State water treatment standards.

On 22 February 2012 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a press release advising of a further extension to the implementation date, aligning it with the expiry of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Vessel General Permit on 19 December 2013. The deadline has been extended as DEC has recognised following submissions received from shipowners that there are a number of areas that are hampering compliance with the new requirements including technology limitations and engineering constraints on vessels.

A new letter granting an extension to the date by which vessels will need to comply with the new legislation has been issued to shipowners who previously requested an extension to the implementation date for their vessels. Although the DEC letter states that “the Department extends the implementation date for your vessels(s), and all other similarly situated vessels, to comply…” Members are advised to apply for a waiver from the requirements following the procedure set out in “USA – State of New York Vessel General Permit Ballast Water Requirements” if any of their vessels are to trade to New York State waters for the first time.

Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention department.