U.S. Coast Guard warns on ballast reporting forms

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) recently issued a notice highlighting the continuing number of vessels calling at U.S. ports which did not follow ballast water reporting requirements contained in the regulations governing ballast water management.  

Although no clear information is given on vessel types and on the extent of the problem, the notice acts as a useful reminder to the industry to ensure that their vessels comply  with the ballast water reporting requirements. Particular reference is made to the reporting requirements within 33 CFR part 151, subparts C and D, requesting that ballast water management reports shall be submitted to the National Ballast Information Clearing House (NBIC) prior to departure (from the previous port) for voyages less than 24 hours, and at least 24 hours prior to arrival in a U.S. port for longer voyages. 

The reporting forms should be sent via one of the following four methods: 

-         Via the Internet at http://invasions.si.edu/ballast.htm

-         E-mail to NBlCfSiBALLASTREPORT.ORG

-         Fax to 301-261-4319

-         Mail to U.S. Coast Guard, c/o SERC, P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, MD21037-0028 

In addition to the reporting requirements, there are certain additional key requirements that must be met, including: 

-         Vessel Master must sign Ballast Water Management Reports.

-         All records must be kept on board for two years.

-         All records must accurately reflect operations.

-         All records must be made available upon request.

-         Ship specific ballast water management plan must be developed. 

Contact: Tim Wilkins