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Ballast Water
Management Compliance

IMC helps owners/operators ensure their compliance with USCG ballast water management regulations. (33 CFR 151).

U.S. Coast Guard ballast water management regulations (“the regulations”) require non-exempt commercial vessels operating within 12 nautical miles of the U.S. (“in U.S. waters”) to manage ballast water in one of five ways: (1) install and use a U.S. type-approved ballast water management system (BWMS) to meet the discharge standard; (2) use a foreign type-approved BWMS that has been accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard as an alternate management system (AMS); (3) use and discharge ballast water obtained exclusively from a U.S. public water system; (4) discharge ballast water to a reception facility; or (5) do not discharge ballast water in U.S. waters.

This U.S. ballast water regulatory scheme is an additional requirement to the IMO ballast water management program, which will take effect in September 2017.

As if this is not complex enough, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has its own set of ballast water regulations applicable to vessels operating in U.S. waters, which include, among other things, a requirement for ballast water sampling and testing.

The date for compliance with U.S. ballast water management regulations has already passed for all vessel types. The Coast Guard is already inspecting vessels to verify their compliance with the ballast water management regulations during port state control exams, with the possibility of significant civil penalties (fines) to owners/operators/managers if the regulations are not being fully complied with.

The IMC team is comprised of highly experienced marine consultants with extensive seagoing experience as Masters or Chief Engineers, supported by a team of professionals who have worked within the United States Coast Guard in senior level positions for many decades. This team is ideally equipped to assist vessel owners/operators/managers understand and comply with U.S. and international ballast water management requirements in the following ways:

  • Provide training and/or audits of fleets or vessels to determine their state of compliance with the U.S.’s ballast water management regulations, and, upon their taking effect, with international requirements as well;

  • Assist owners/operators/managers to develop a fleet management plan involving such components as vessel retirement dates, taking vessels out of U.S. service, or installing U.S.-compliant ballast water management systems, so as to ensure the most efficient, cost-effective, and strategically advantageous means of complying with U.S. and international ballast water management requirements;

  • Serving as a liaison between vessel owners/operators/managers and the U.S. Coast Guard regarding any ballast water management compliance issues that might arise; and

  • Assisting vessel owners/operators/managers in applying for and receiving extensions to their dates for required compliance with the U.S. Coast Guard’s ballast water management regulations, as more specifically discussed in the “Help owners/operators prepare requests to extend the installation date for ballast water management systems required under USCG regulations” tab in this website.

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