The US Coast Guard posted a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) to remind masters, owners/operators, agents and persons-in-charge of vessels that the United States is not signatory to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast Water and Sediment (BWM Convention) and that vessels discharging ballast water (BW) into the waters of the US must comply with the requirements of 33 CFR 151 Subparts C and D.
Under the US BW regulations, meeting the BWM Convention requirements for sequential exchange is not an acceptable BWM method for vessels beyond the compliance date specified in 33 CFR 151.1512 & 151.2035 without a valid Coast Guard extension. Accordingly, vessels beyond their compliance date are reminded to employ one of the following BWM methods when operating in the waters of the United States:
- Use a Coast Guard-approved ballast water management system (BWMS);
- Use only water from a US public water system (PWS);
- Use an alternate management system (AMS) [NOTE: Only valid for 5-years from compliance date];
- Do not discharge BW into waters of the United States (includes the territorial sea as extended to 12 nautical miles from the baseline); or
- Discharge to a facility onshore or to another vessel for purposes of treatment.