Commercial Vessel Compliance

Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program – Revised Application for Ballast Water Management Systems

The Coast Guard’s Office of Operating and Environmental Standards has published a revised 2021 Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program (STEP) Application Package. This application facilitates the process for both prototype Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) and BWMS undergoing U.S. Type Approval testing under the oversight of an Independent Laboratory (IL). The application and instructions for submitting are available on the  Office of Operating and Environmental Standards webpage.

The STEP application incorporates fully validated experimental design parameters developed through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) process, as well as ETV harmonized shipboard testing requirements. Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 01-04 (NVIC 01-04) establishes the process and gives additional information for vessel owners to apply to STEP.

The revised format is intended to assist applicants to prepare and submit all necessary information in a clear and consistent manner, thus facilitating the review process. Potential applicants should familiarize themselves with the guidance before completing the application. There is NO CHARGE for applying to or being enrolled in STEP.

If you have questions, please contact the Chief of the Environmental Standards Division at

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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