Standard Club launched a new framework concerning the regulations on vessel incidental discharge act (VIDA). VIDA phases out provisions of the Vessel General Permit (VGP) and existing USCG regulations over a time frame of about 4 years. Despite the fact that the wide implications of the new law are still being assessed, the club presented the most important provisions of VIDA.
- It provides for the establishment of uniform standards for the management of discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel.
- It charges the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with primary responsibility to establish standards relating to the discharge of pollutants from vessels.
- It charges the USCG with primary responsibility for prescribing, administering and enforcing regulations consistent with these standards.
Moreover, the club alerts members that trade to the US that the 2013’s VGP expired on 18 December 2018.
As VIDA replaces the VGP, there will be no new VGP issued.
Yet, the requirements under the existing (2013) VGP remain in full force and effect beyond their expiration date, until the EPA and the USCG finalise and implement the new regulations that VIDA requires.
Moreover, the new regulations are to be at least as strict as the existent VGP, concerning corrective action, inspections, monitoring, reporting, recordkeeping and vessel-specific requirements.
Concluding, all vessels trading to the US are to keep on being compliant with the existing VGP until the new regulations are finalized.