Operating & Environmental Standards

Clarification on the use of existing type approval data in BWMS type approval for viability

Submitted by the Office of Operating and Environmental Standards (CG-OES)

The Coast Guard recently published a Blog post regarding CG-OES Policy Letter No. 02-22  (available here: Final policy letter describing type-approval testing methods for ballast water management systems (BWMS) that render organisms nonviable in ballast water – Coast Guard Maritime Commons Blog). Generally, the policy letter describes the process by which the Coast Guard will solicit public submissions of viability testing methods, review submitted methods, and accept an Independent Laboratory (IL) or testing organization to conduct BWMS type approval using a viability accepted testing method.

In this article, we clarify the Coast Guard’s position regarding consideration of existing testing data in type approving a BWMS using a viability testing method, should the Coast Guard accept such a testing method. We note that the procedures regarding consideration of existing testing data can be found in current regulation 46 CFR § 162.060-12. This regulation prescribes the requirements for an IL or testing organization seeking to use data generated prior to their acceptance as an IL. If the Coast Guard accepts a viability testing method, these same regulations will apply to existing viability testing data.

As a result, manufacturers may submit existing information and data generated during BWMS type approval testing to achieve IMO type approval, assuming those data are relevant to the Coast Guard type approval requirements. The regulation also establishes that ILs wishing to submit existing data do not need to comply with requirements for advance notice under § 162.060-10(a) or with the requirement that all evaluation, inspection, and testing of the BWMS is conducted by an IL, previously accepted by the Coast Guard, under § 162.060-10(b). However, the IL must include documentation demonstrating that all laboratories and test facilities met the requirements.

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 publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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