Friday, 08 September 2017 10:20

USCG issues guidelines for compliance with BWM Convention

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The Coast Guard has released Policy Letter 17-05: “Guidelines for Voluntary Compliance with the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 to provide guidance to Coast Guard marine inspectors, Authorized Classification Societies (ACS) that are authorized to issue international convention certificates on behalf of the Coast Guard in its capacity as the flag administration, and US flagged vessel owners/operators concerning the requirements Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.  The US is not signatory to the BWM Convention, and the Coast Guard cannot mandate compliance with the BWM Convention’s requirements either for US flagged vessels or for foreign vessels operating on the navigable waters of the United States. In contrast, Parties to the BWM Convention are required to impose BWM Convention requirements on all Party and non-Party vessels when calling on their ports (Article 3, Paragraph 3: “no more favorable treatment clause”).  US flagged vessels operating in a Party’s waters should be prepared to demonstrate compliance with the BWM Convention or be at risk for Port State Control actions, including detention.

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