With effect from 21 June, 2012

With effect from 21 June, 2012, the US regulations on ballast water management and reporting (detailed in Classification News 14/2004*) will be
superseded by new regulations which will require ships to treat ballast water and regularly remove hull fouling.

Ships calling at US ports and intending to discharge ballast will be required to use an approved ballast water treatment system that meets the
US discharge standard (which is the same as the IMO D-2 standard) in accordance with the following timetable.

Ballast water treatment systems are to be approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Alternatively, a system that has an approval
certificate to the IMO standard issued by or on behalf of a flag administration may be acceptable if the IMO approval has been reviewed and
accepted by the USCG**.

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An IMO-approved system must have been installed before the date a ship is required to comply with the US requirements (as detailed in the table above) and may be used for five years after this date. A further alternative is for ships to use potable water as ballast if: the water is supplied from the US public water system; the ship obtains a certificate stating that the water meets federal standards; and the ballast tank is cleaned and sediment is removed.

The regulations will also require all ships to:

  • clean ballast tanks to remove sediments
  • rinse anchors and chains when an anchor is retrieved
  • remove fouling from the hull, piping and tanks on a regular basis
  • maintain a ballast water management plan that includes procedures for fouling and sediment removal as well as ballast water management - there is no requirement for the plan to be approved
  • maintain records of ballast and fouling management
  • submit a report form 24 hours before arrival.

The USCG will review the practicability of implementing a higher ballast water discharge standard and publish the results no later than 1 January 2016.

Source: Lloyd's Register

* Classification News 14/2004 is available from www.cdlive.lr.org (click the Classification News link on the left of the homepage to access the

**Ballast water treatment system manufacturers are responsible for obtaining approval of their system to meet the US standard and, if it is an
IMO-certified system, for ensuring it is acceptable to the USCG. Shipowners and operators should liaise direct with their system manufacturers
regarding US approvals and acceptability of ballast water treatment systems. Ballast water treatment system manufacturers are advised to
consult the text of the final rule making regarding the USCG requirements for obtaining approval of their system or obtaining recognition of any
IMO certification issued to their system by a flag administration.

The full text of the final rule making is available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-03-23/pdf/2012-6579.pdf