United States ballast water management regulations will be superseded by new requirements for ballast water treatment. Ships calling at US ports and intending to discharge ballast will be required to use an approved ballast water treatment system that meets the US discharge standard (which is the same as the IMO D-2 standard) in accordance with the following timetable:
Ballast water treatment systems are to be approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Alternatively, a system that has an approval certificate to the IMO standard issued by or on behalf of a flag administration may be acceptable if the IMO approval has been reviewed and accepted by the USCG**. An IMO-approved system must have been installed before the date a ship is required to comply with the US requirements (as detailed in the table above) and may be used for five years after this date. A further alternative is for ships to use potable water as ballast if: the water is supplied from the US public water system; the ship obtains a certificate stating that the water meets federal standards; and the ballast tank is cleaned and sediment is removed.
The regulations will also require all ships to:
The USCG will review the practicability of implementing a higher ballast water discharge standard and publish the results no later than 1-January-2016.
**Ballast water treatment system manufacturers are responsible for obtaining approval of their system to meet the US standard and, if it is an IMO-certified system, for ensuring it is acceptable to the USCG. Shipowners and operators should liaise direct with their system manufacturers regarding US approvals and acceptability of ballast water treatment systems. Ballast water treatment system manufacturers are advised to consult the text of the final rule making regarding the USCG requirements for obtaining approval of their system or obtaining recognition of any IMO certification issued to their system by a flag administration. The full text of the final rule making is available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-03-23/pdf/2012-6579.pdf