US regulations affecting your ships - get the August update!


This is the latest in a series of reports supplied by the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) with the intention of keeping BIMCO members appraised of legislative developments in the US affecting international shipping. BIMCO highlights only the relevant developments that would impact members. The full CSA August report is also provided. 

USCG type approves fifth ballast water treatment system

In mid-August, the US Coast Guard (USCG) issued a type approval to Echochlor, Inc.  The system utilises filtration and chemical injection for ballast water treatment (BWT).  The US type approval is issued for flow rates from 500 to 16,200 cubic meters per hour.  The Erma First BWT system is also listed as review pending which means the testing package is complete, has been received by the Coast Guard and is pending a decision re: issuance of US type approval.   

California State Lands Commission (CSLC) Final Regulations on Biofouling

CSLC has now publicised its final regulations on biofouling management, ie, Article 4.8 – Biofouling Management Regulations to Minimize the Transport of Non-indigenous Species from Vessels Arriving at California Ports.

Members operating vessels in California waters may wish to note some of the following key provisions:

1. Effective 1 October 2017

Repealed: Previous reporting requirements for the Hull Husbandry Reporting Form, the Ballast Water Treatment Supplemental Reporting Form and the Ballast Water Treatment Annual Reporting Form are repealed.

New: A new consolidated report, “Marine Invasive Species Program Annual Reporting Form” is adopted.  Vessels arriving on/after 1 October 2017 which have previously called in a California port and completed the requisite reports (which are now repealed) need not file the new consolidated report for 2017.  Vessels which call in a California port on/after 1 October 2017 and have not previously called in a California port in 2017, must file the new consolidated report. 

2. Effective 1 January 2018 onwards

Submission of new consolidated report: ALL vessels calling in a California port must submit the new consolidated report at least 24 hours prior to arrival for its first California port call in that calendar year.  The completed report must be sent to CSLC by email:, fax at 562.499.6444 or mail to CSLC, Marine Environmental Protection Division, 200 Oceangate, Suite 900, Long Beach, CA  90802.

After drydocking or new delivery: Effective after an existing vessel’s first regularly scheduled out-of-water maintenance (ie dry dock) after 1 January 2018 or for new vessels on delivery on/after 1 January 2018 the following requirements must be met:

  1. Development and maintenance of a Biofouling Management Plan (Section 2298.3)
  2. Development and maintenance of a Biofouling Record Book (Section 2298.4)
  3. Implementation of mandatory biofouling management of the vessel’s wetted surfaces (Section 2298.6)
  4. Implementation of  mandatory biofouling management for vessels that undergo an extended residency period (ie remain in the same location for 45 or more days) (Section 2298.7).

For details of the above key provisions, please go to either the full CSA report or to the CSLC website at: < ( download possible). Note that link to regulations and supporting documents may be found in hot link in posted document " Letter on the Approval of Biofouling Management regulations".

Notice of public outreach programs

The CSLC has scheduled the following online webinar and two meetings to answer questions regarding the above regulations:

  • On Line Webinar – Wednesday 20 September 2017 at 13:00 PST
  • S. California Meeting – Tuesday 19 September 2017 at 10:00 PST at the Port of Long Beach Board Room, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA  90815
  • N. California Meeting – Tuesday 26 September 2017 at 10:00 PST at the Shell Refinery Clubhouse, 1635 Pacheco Blvd., Martinez, CA  94553

Individuals wishing to attend any/all of these meetings should RSVP to by 15 September 2017 and indicate which events you wish to attend.

ECDIS software upgrade install / deadline issues

As you may recall, CSA has sent updates over the past few months on the Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (ECDIS) software upgrades regarding compliance by 31 August 2017. The USCG released this Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) on 25 August regarding the ECDIS upgrade: USCG ECDIS MSIB- 009-17_8-25-2017.

Members should note that in the said MSIB, there is guidance for US flagged vessels on international voyages not in ECDIS compliance. It is also noted that foreign vessels entering the US may be checked for the ECDIS upgrade to IHO (International Hydrographic Organization) standards by USCG PSC ( port state control). Internationally and domestically documentation from the manufacturer with specific information such as, why the upgrade is not complete and when it will be complete along with sufficient up-to-date paper chart and navigating by them will be extremely important if your ship is non-compliant.

NOAA regulatory reform request for comments

Members would recall in the BIMCO July update where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has asked the public for comments relating to regulations coming from their end. CSA has submitted comments addressing the current ship strike mitigation regulations. These regulations impose mandatory speed limits on vessels on the East Coast of North America in certain spatial and temporal conditions for the protection of the North Atlantic Right Whale. These requirements have not yet been shown to reduce the ship strikes in the regulated areas. CSA  has thus requested for suspension of these regulations until such time as a more targeted strategy supported by scientific data is developed. In short, because the correlation between current requirements and reduced risk has not been shown, CSA requests suspension of the current regulations referenced above. 

Members wishing to know more about CSA's comments or request for the full comment letter, please go to the full CSA report or submit request for the said letter to

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