The United States USCG (USCG) has therefore issued an updated procedure for requesting extensions for compliance with Ballast Water Management (BWM) regulations. The updated guidance can be found in MSIB 03-17.
The goal of the USCG compliance extension procedure is to provide reasonable flexibility to shipowners and operators, where appropriate, while ensuring steady progress toward achieving statutory intent in enhancing protection of US waters from invasive species in ballast water.
The dynamic nature of this challenge, including:
Stakeholders should be aware of the following principles that guide our development of the extension request procedures:
While the USCG understands that no single system is appropriate for every ship, it is incumbent upon shipowners/operators to employ engineering and operational solutions in order to install approved systems. Where engineering and operational accommodations can be made, the USCG may consider extending the compliance date based on an installation plan. Where installation of an approved system is not reasonable, the USCG would like to see a detailed analysis of how the owner/operator intends to match the ship with an approved BWMS at a future date before considering any extension request. Shipowners/operators should be working closely with BWMS manufacturers to ensure the systems in development meet the needs of their ships.
The USCG remains committed to smooth implementation of the BWM regulations and to finding reasonable and practical solutions to facilitate installation of BWMS in the global fleet. Shipowners/operators should proactively engage their flag state, Classification Society, and the US USCG as they develop compliance strategies in order to avoid ship delays or lapse in eligibility to trade in US waters.
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