The Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-18 replaces the prior NVIC 07-04 and NVIC 07-04 Change-1. It provides updated and comprehensive guidance to industry and USCG personnel to assist with understanding and ensuring compliance with ballast water management regulatory requirements, including:

  • Guidance on ballast water management reporting and recordkeeping requirements;
  • Compliance guidance, including information on USCG type-approved BWMS, use of an AMS, exemptions, and extensions; and
  • Enforcement, including Sample Letters of Warning that the USCG may issue in cases of compliance violation.

The circular provides guidance based on the 2012 ballast water regulatory amendments. In 2016, new compliance dates took effect for regulations that set the implementation schedule for BWM discharge standards for both existing and new vessels that use Coast Guard approved BWMS.

Additionally, the regulations incorporated various compliance options for vessel owners or operators (to include masters, agents, and persons in charge), such as a vessel to use an Alternate Management System (AMS) until they reach their compliance date for installing a Coast Guard approved BWMS or employ one of the BWM practices or methods set forth 33 Code of Federal Regulations 151 Subpart C and Subpart D regarding BWM requirements.

Vessel masters, owners, operators, agents, or persons-in-charge of US and foreign flag commercial vessels that are equipped with ballast water tanks and operate in waters of the US shall comply with the BWM regulatory requirements.

The Coast Guard encourages shipping agents to assist with the communication and coordination process that takes place before a vessel arrives into a US port. Reminding vessel masters of BWM reporting, operational, and recordkeeping requirements helps ensure efficient compliance verifications during USCG vessel examinations.

Find the official circular herebelow: