Liberia, USCG discuss BWM developments

The Liberian Registry recently co-hosted a round-table discussion with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and twelve shipping companies to debate topical issues relating to 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 IMO and that there is no intention to change this.

Furthermore, he highlighted the various systems and the complex challenges owners and operators have to deal with, describing in the same time the options available to achieve compliance with the U.S. and international regulations.

He also noted that more systems and more USCG guidance are on the way.

Liberian Registry’s discussion with USCG comes in a time when, earlier this year, Liberia announced that it welcomes the agreement reached by the IMO 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.

In particular, the 71st session of the MEPC in London decided that ships built after 8 September 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 8 September 2019 to install a BWMS, depending on when the survey occurs