Commercial Vessel Compliance

Exhaust gas scrubbers on foreign ships in North American and U.S. Caribbean Sea Emission Control Areas

Submitted by Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Danus, Port State Control Oversight

In 2012, the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance issued CG-CVC Policy Letter 12-04 to request correspondence from flag administrations regarding equivalencies for exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) under MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 4. As a port state control authority, the Coast Guard appreciates this coordination and information from flag administrations. 

CG-CVC no longer requests this notification. Flag administrations should continue to make appropriate notifications to the International Maritime Organization regarding equivalencies issued under MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 4. To avoid control and enforcement action by the Coast Guard, flag administrations should ensure that equivalencies are entered into the Global Integrated Shipping Information System.

All fully operational exhaust scrubbers that are tested, surveyed, and verified in accordance with MEPC 184(59) or MEPC 259(68) and are appropriately granted equivalencies by a flag administration are authorized to operate in the North American and U.S. Caribbean Sea Emission Control Areas.  All non-emergency machinery not serviced by the exhaust scrubber must use compliant fuel (0.10 percent or less sulfur content) to meet MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14.  These exhaust scrubbers must be operated in accordance with applicable state and local regulations. Vessel owners and operators should contact state and local jurisdictions for questions regarding their regulations.

CG-CVC Policy Letter 12-04 Change 1 has been amended to reflect this policy change. 

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