Coast Guard issues guidance for MARPOL Annex IV

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard published Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 1-09 Wednesday to provide U.S. flagged vessels, equipment manufacturers and testing laboratories with guidance for voluntary compliance measures for international sewage regulations contained in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), Annex IV.

Revised sewage effluent standards and performance test criteria for sewage treatment plants in MARPOL Annex IV take effect internationally Jan. 1, 2010. U.S. flagged vessels visiting nations party to MARPOL Annex IV may need to demonstrate compliance with regulations for the prevention of pollution by sewage from ships, even though the United States is not party to Annex IV.

“We are working to help the maritime industry prepare for the international implementation of these regulations well in advance of the compliance date,” said Lt. Robert Griffiths of the Coast Guard’s Office of Design and Engineering Standards. “Not all vessels will want or need a certificate of compliance for MARPOL Annex IV but the ones that do should not wait until Jan. 1, 2010, to request it.”

Failure of a U.S. vessel to have the appropriate certificate demonstrating voluntary compliance with MARPOL Annex IV could result in a detention abroad.

Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 1-09 is available online at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/.

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