US regulations affecting your ships - get the March 2018 update!

Overview

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 March report is also provided.

USCG Navigation and Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-18 Ballast Water Management for Control of Non-Indigenous Species in Waters of the United States

With respect to the above-mentioned, BIMCO had already reported the same via the following news articles:

EPA VGP Status

The new Vessel General Permit (VGP) will be effective in the middle of December 2018. As industry urgently needs to prepare for the implementation of the new VGP, CSA has expressed their concerns in discussions with senior Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials over the current delayed publication of the VGP.

On the other hand, due to the current regulatory reform exercise coming out from the White House, it is envisaged that there may be a few changes incorporated in the new permit, including EPA's need to review a recent court case decision where EPA was held not to have sufficiently justified on scientific grounds, the use of a series of performance standards and water quality criteria in a number of provisions in the current VGP. CSA will advise when more information is available.

Port Everglades Tariff Prohibiting Ballast Water Discharge

The Port Everglades Tariff (Link: Port Everglades Tariff No. 12 ) see Item No. 1015, prohibits the discharge of ballast water in the Port. Though this has been in force since 2006, many ship operators and owners were not aware of the same until March this year. Research showed this tariff was not communicated publically to the industry. This obviously has a significant impact on vessels operating there. As a result, the communication lines between various sectors of the industry including CSA members with high level port officials are open. CSA hopes that the Port will resolve this by aligning itself with the USCG regulations and the VGP rather than prohibiting ballast discharge, even treated ballast, all together. CSA will continue to be involved in this issue and advise once new information is available.

 

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