Coast Guard issues first US type-approval certificate for ballast water management

marine-safety-center-logoWASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard issued the first U.S. type-approval certificate for a ballast water management system Friday.

The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center issued the certificate to Optimarin after its application for U.S. type approval was reviewed and determined to meet the requirements of the Coast Guard’s type approval requirements contained in 46 C.F.R. § 162.060.

While this certification provides vessel owners and operators with a type-approved system to meet the ballast water discharge standard, there are other ways that vessels can comply with U.S. ballast water management regulations. These include:

  • Temporary use of a foreign type-approved BWMS that has been accepted by the Coast Guard as an alternate management system (AMS) (5-year limitation) if installed in compliance with 33 CFR Part 151
  • Use of ballast water obtained exclusively from a U.S. public water system
  • Discharge of ballast water to a reception facility
  • No discharge of unmanaged ballast water inside 12 nautical miles

“While this is a significant milestone, it is the first of multiple system approvals that are needed to mitigate the threat of harmful aquatic invasive species,” said Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, assistant commandant for prevention policy. “One size does not fit all, so we will continue to evaluate other systems submitted by multiple manufactures with the intent to provide options that meet shipping’s varying needs.”

For more information on the Coast Guard ballast water program and regulations, please view the full ballast water series on Maritime Commons.

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