Commercial Vessel Compliance

3/4/2018: Updated ballast water management NVIC now available

The offices of Operating and Environmental Standards and Commercial Vessel Compliance announced March 1, 2018, the availability of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 01-18, “Ballast Water Management For Control of Non-Indigenous Species in Waters of the United States.” The purpose of NVIC 01-18 is to inform maritime industry and Coast Guard personnel and provide guidance to ensure a more complete understanding of, and maximum compliance with, ballast water management requirements.

This circular replaces NVIC 07-04, titled, “Ballast Water Management for the Control of Aquatic Nuisance Species in the Waters of the United States,” of June 17, 2004, as well as 07-04 Change-1 of October 29, 2004.

NVIC 01-18 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 ballast water management discharge standards for both existing and new vessels that use Coast Guard approved Ballast Water Management Systems (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 U.S. and foreign flag commercial vessels that are equipped with ballast water tanks and operate in waters of the United States 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 U.S. port. Reminding vessel masters of BWM reporting, operational, and recordkeeping requirements helps ensure efficient compliance verifications during Coast Guard vessel examinations.

For full details, download or read NVIC 01-18.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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