Standards for living organisms

The new the US regulations on ballast water management and regular removal of hull fouling will enter into force 21 June 2012, despite the fact that the IMO's International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention) might not have entered into force due to lack of a sufficent number of raticifications from IMO members states holding the remaining 8.54% of the world tonnage required to reach the total 35% of the world tonnagerequired by the BWM Convention. The current status of ratification is33 IMO Member States, representing 26.46%.

All ships intending to discharge ballast water are required to use an approved ballast water treatment system meeting the US ballast water discharge standard equal to the IMO D-2 standard as per below:

  • New shipswith any ballast capacity have to be in compliance on or after 1 December 2013.
  • Existing ships with less than 1,500 m3 ballast water capacity have to be in compliance by the first scheduled drydocking after 1 January 2016.
  • Existing ships with 1,500 - 5,000 m3 ballast water capacity have to be in compliance by the first scheduled drydocking after 1 January 2014.
  • Existing ships withmore than 5,000 m3 ballast water capacity have to be in complaince by the first scheduled drydocking after 1 January 2016.

Existing ships means ships constructed before 1 December 2013.

The USCG final rulemaking includes a review of the practicability of implementing a future higher and more stringent ballast water discharge standard. The review result is set to be published not later than 1 January 2016.

All Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS) have to be approved by the USCG, although BWTSs with an approval certificate stating compliance to the IMO D-2 standard issued by or on behalf of a flag administration might be accepted for use in US waters after a USCG review .

BWTS that have been IMO-approved and installed before the date which the ship is required to comply with the US regulations may be subject to a grandfathering for five years after the compliance date.

The final rulemaking further includes requirements for:

  • Ballast water management plan, including procedures for fouling and sediment removal - no requirement for plan approval
  • Cleaning of ballast tanks and removal of sediments
  • Removal of fouling from the hull, piping and tanks on a regular basis
  • Records of ballast and fouling management to be kept
  • Report form to be submitted 24 hours before arrival
  • Operational water rinsing of anchors and chains

Alternative means of compliance could be the use of potable ballast water under the following conditions:

  • The ballast water is supplied from the US public water system
  • By holding a certificate stating that the water meets federal standards
  • The ballast tanks is cleaned and all sediments removed

For the text of the USCG final rulemaking, click here.

Source: BIMCO