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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. 

Any questions regarding this blog post can be directed to PortStateControl@uscg.mil.

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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