USCG Issues Bulletin on Ballast Water Management Requirements

The USCG Marine Safety Information Bulletin MSIB 007-17 dated June 30, 2017 reminds masters, owners, operators, agents and persons-in-charge of vessels that the United States is not signatory to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) and that vessels discharging ballast water into the waters of the United States must comply with the requirements of 33 CFR Part 151 Subparts C and D. 

In addition, the Bulletin lists the acceptable BWM methods to be employed when operating in the waters of the United States beyond their compliance date unless an extension has been issued.  These methods exclude ballast water exchange.

The Bulletin goes on to note that vessels not complying with the USCG regulations may result in costly delays, environmental deficiencies and civil enforcement action. 

In the event that a Ballast Water Treatment System on a ship bound for a US port is identified as inoperable, notification should be made to the USCG Captain of the Port (COTP) immediately. The notification should include proposed arrangements to address the non-compliance.