The USCG has issued a new notice on the use of ballast treatment systems and it appears that the end is now insight for the AMS treatment of IMO type-approved systems. Under USCG rules ships are obliged to install a ballast treatment system in accordance with the following table unless the ship does not make use of ballast water or if it takes ballast water and discharges from and to shore facilities only. In the absence of US type-approved systems, vessels have been able to make use of IMO type approved systems and can continue to do so for a period of five years past the compliance date in the below table. The USCG now advises that if a US type-approved system is not available for a vessel, and compliance with the other approved ballast water management methods is not possible, the vessel owner/operator may apply for an extension of the vessel’s compliance date. Whether a type-approved system is “available” will be based on evidence submitted by the vessel owner/operator with the application for extension. The length of compliance date extensions, when granted, will be based on the availability of USCG type-approved systems and detailed installation plans. Vessel owners and operators should anticipate that this will not typically align with scheduled dry docking. Vessels having a compliance date before and including December 31, 2018: These requests will be evaluated as follows:
- Extension requests that do not provide a justification as to why compliance with one of the BWM methods in 33 CFR 151.1510 or 151.2025 is not possible by the current compliance date will be denied.
- Vessel owners and operators who have identified that a USCG type-approved BWMS is available for a vessel but do not have enough time to install it prior to the vessel’s compliance date must provide a strategy, including a detailed installation plan, for how the vessel would be brought into compliance by installing a USCG type-approved BWMS before the end of the extension. Extensions granted on this basis should be expected not to exceed 18 months.
- Vessel owners and operators who have identified that a USCG type-approved BWMS is not available for a vessel must provide a strategy, including a timeline, for how the vessel would be brought into compliance before the end of the extension. Extensions granted on this basis should be expected not to exceed 30 months.