Liberia, USCG Discuss BWM Status, Developments

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The Liberian Registry recently held a discussion with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and a dozen shipping companies on topical issues on ballast water.

USCG Captain Scott Kelly gave a detailed description of the U.S. ballast water regulations, explaining that the U.S. regulations and type approval ratings differ from those prescribed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and that there is no intention to change the existing regulations.

He also highlighted the various systems and the complex challenges owners and operators have to deal with and described the options available to achieve compliance with the U.S. and international regulations.

Kelly stated that more systems and USCG guidance are expectged to be announced in near future.

The discussion was significant as Liberia has supported the agreement reached by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) about the implementation schedule for the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC), as this broadly incorporates the terms of an amendment initially proposed by Liberia.

At the 71st session of the MEPC in London, it was decided that ships built after September 8, 2017, must have a ballast water management system (BWMS) installed upon delivery. Existing ships, however, will have a deadline until their first or second MARPOL Annex I IOPPC renewal survey after September 8, 2019, to install a BWMS.

Sea News, November 13