In a latest post, USCG outlines where the industry stands with respect to Type Approval, informing that so far it has approved six BWMSs whereas many are currently under review.
“We have additional type approval applications under review, and more than 20 manufacturers are conducting type approval testing for their BWMS models. Extensions are no longer necessary for most vessels because operators are now able to select and install a Coast Guard type approved BWMS,’’ USCG stated.
In lieu of installing a treatment system, the following management options are still available to comply with U.S. regulations:
1. Retain ballast water on board while in U.S. waters (within 12 nautical miles),
2. Discharge to a facility onshore or to another vessel for purpose of treatment, or
3. Use only water from a U.S. Public Water System.
The USCG notes this means that some crews may be tempted to not use the vessel’s BWMS on a regular basis and only discover problems with it as they enter U.S. waters.
However, Rear Adm. John Nadeau, assistant commandant for prevention policy, USCG strongly encourages vessels to operate their BWMS regularly to ensure the crew is trained and proficient, and the systems remain operational. This approach is the best way to ensure the BWMS is fully operational when you need it.
“An inoperable BWMS will be treated like other pollution prevention equipment that fails or cannot perform its intended function, as designed. Inoperability is a compliance issue. It is not a valid reason to discharge unmanaged ballast to U.S. waters, nor is it grounds for an extension to a vessel’s compliance date,” Rear Adm. John Nadeau stated in USCG latest blog.
It is important to recognize that all ballast water discharged in U.S. waters must be managed and reported in compliance with federal regulations. Vessel owners and operators should be aware that the Coast Guard will fully enforce all requirements.
Click here below to view which manufacturers have been granted USCG Type Approvals for their systems so far: