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Encyclopedia of Marine and Energy Technology

Ballast Water Discharge Requirements


1. Ballast Water Convention, 2004 -The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004. The convention calls for ships greater than 400GT to conduct ballast water exchange or treatment in accordance with IMO regulations.

2. USCG Ballast Water Program – Rules and regulations for the management of ballast water in United States Waters, with a discharge standard in-line with IMO Ballast Water Conventions, 2004. Ballast Water Management Systems are to be tested and approved by the USCG for use on vessels transiting US Waters. Detailed information can be found at USCG Homeport, and regulation CFR 33 Part 151.

3. USCG Alternate Management System (AMS) – An interim ballast water management system recognition program, whilst systems are tested and Type Approved under the USCG regulations. Accepted AMS are Type Approved by a foreign administration pursuant to the standards set forth in the International Maritime Organization’s International Ballast Water Convention, 2004, and meeting all applicable requirements of U.S. law, and which is used in lieu of ballast water exchange. The list of AMS accepted BWMS can be found at USCG Homeport.

4. US EPA Vessel General Permit (VGP 2013) – Part of the Nation Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program under the Clean Water Act (CWA) containing rules and regulations for the management of ballast water in United States Waters.