Full service technical support for the international maritime and petroleum industries.


Environmental Laws and Regulations

Ballast Water

New! US Coast Guard amends 33 CFR 151:  Effective 22 February 2015, the USCG regulation on ballast water discharges is amended to reflect new ballast water management reporting and recordkeeping requirements.  Key changes include a revised reporting deadline for ships entering ports other than those in the Great Lakes or Hudson River and a simplified and streamlined ballast water management report.  It also adds an annual reporting requirement for vessels who operate within a single Captain of the Port Zone.  The actual regulatory language begins on page 73115 from the Federal Register release, which may be downloaded from the following link:

Revised 33 Revised 33 CFR 151 – Updated BWM Reporting Requirements

New! Marine Safety Information Bulletin 13-15 BWM Program Updated dated 22 October 2015:  This MSIB clarifies what the US Coast Guard considers as a “scheduled drydocking” and addresses other questions related to the Ballast Water Management regulations.

MSIB 13-15 BWM Program Update Dated 22 October 2015

External Resources: The following links provide information about the IMO Ballast Water Convention and the US Coast Guard Ballast Water Regulation

IMO Ballast Water Management Website. These pages describe ballast water and invasive species issues and contain additional links to the ratification status of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention and other information.

US Coast Guard Ballast Water Program Website: This page provides authoritative details on the USCG BW regulation and news related to the Coast Guard’s efforts regarding Type Approved Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS/BWTS). Links on the page include Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), General Information, Regulations and Policy Documents, Alternative Management Systems, Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program (STEP), Type Approval, and Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program.

The website path is: . Use the pull-down menu near the top left of page and path through the following categories: Missions>Environmental>Ballast Water Management Program, then select the topic of your interest.

US Coast Guard Approved Equipment List: This page searches the type approval numbers for all marine equipment type approved by the US Coast Guard. When Ballast Water Management Systems become type approved, they will be found on this list. In the “Approval Series Name” field, click the drop-down and select “BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – 162.060”. This page also shows type approvals for sewage treatment plants,

US Coast Guard Ballast Water Extension Forms and Supplements: These files are provided to assist Clients with filing extension requests of the Ballast Water Management Practices Implementation Date with the US Coast Guard.

US Coast Guard Office of Environmental Standards Policy Letter No. 13-01, Revision 2, dated 16 November 2015:

“Extension of Implementation Schedule for Approved Ballast Water Management Methods”. This Revision to the Coast Guard’s policy includes a definition of a “scheduled dry dock”, changes the expiry date of the extension from a fixed date to the vessel’s “next scheduled dry dock”, and describes other minor policy changes.

USCG BWM Extension CG-OES Policy Letter No. 13-01 Rev 2

Supplemental forms and templates:

USCG BWM Extensions – Highlights and Tips for Application

USCG BWM Extensions – Application

USCG BWM Extensions – Request Letter Template

US Environmental Protection Agency Resources

US Environmental Protection Agency Enforcement Policy: The US Coast Guard regulation requires use of a Coast Guard Type Approved Ballast Water Management/Treatment System. The 2013 Vessel General Permit only requires that such a system be “3rd party approved”. This policy letter explains the EPA’s position on enforcing the 2013 VGP in this particular area.

EPA 2013 VGP BWTS Enforcement Policy

Frequently asked Questions: This document summarizes FAQs regarding Ballast Water and Ballast Water Management (Treatment) systems which is made in response to Client questions and is updated on a regular basis.



North America Emissions Control Area

IMO Circulars on the North Emission Control Area. IMO circulars MEPC.190(60) and MEPC.1/Circ.723, both of which contains a map and border-line coordinates of the NA-ECA.


MEPC.1 Circ 723

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webpage on vessel air emissions: This webpage and its related links provide a full description of the EPA’s rules regarding Sulfur Oxide and Nitrous Oxide emissions.

IMO web page on reduction of sulfur content effective 01 January 2015: This webpage and its links discuss the reduction of sulfur content permissible for use in the Emission Control Areas from 1.0% to 0.1% Sulfur.

Client Advisory on submitting Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR) to US EPA: This Client Advisory describes the process for submitting a FONAR electronically to the EPA.

GMS Client Advisory 06-13 – EPA Fuel Non Availability System Instructions

GMS Client Advisory 06-13 – Electronic Fuel Non-Availability Disclosure Portal


Hawaii Department of Health VGP Filing

The State of Hawaii requires ships to register on their Department of Health website and obtain a permit number for compliance with their State VGP requirements. The filing process takes time and is not intuitive. The following document describes this process, which must be followed exactly.

Instructions for Filing Hawaii Department of Health VGP Certification


2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP)

The US EPA has an extensive series of web pages describing the 2013 Vessel General Permit.

Vessel Discharges Homepage: This webpage is the homepage for the EPA’s 2013 Vessel General Permit. From here you can download copies of the VGP document

2013 VGP FAQ: This link opens a web page to EPA’s comprehensive Frequently Asked Question section which answers questions related to Environmentally Accepted Lubricants and other issues related to VGP compliance.


Asian Gypsy Moth

This excerpt from the US Department of Agriculture’s “Manual for Agricultural Clearance” explain the US Government’s policy and rules regarding the Asian Gypsy Moth.

2018 USDA CFIA Joint AGM Pre Season Bulletin

Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) Inspection Guide

US Dept of Agriculture AGM_Ship Inspection_9-2013


Automated Manifest System (AMS) and US CBP Carrier Bond Information

This FAQ document contains information on the US Customs Border Patrol’s Automated Manifest System and how to obtain a Carrier Bond.

Automated Manifest System FAQs