INTERTANKO comments on new US ballast water legislation

In a coordinated response to the recently-proposed US national legislation for ballast water management, INTERTANKO, as part of the Shipping Industry Ballast Water Coalition (see attached letter for details of Coalition members), has submitted comments in support of a new Ballast Water Management Act (S.363), but has at the same time expressed concern over certain provisions that should be resolved before the Bill is enacted as US law.

The Bill, S.363, proposes a single federal requirement on ballast water management for the US, removing the necessity for individual states to develop their own separate requirements. S.363 is also to a large extent based on the IMO's International Ballast Water Convention. However there are some fundamental differences which have been highlighted by the Coalition in its response to the Senate Committee.

In general, three concerns have been raised by the Coalition:

  • The legislation provides for an extension of the entry into force dates by 24 months if it is found that technology does not exist to meet the ballast discharge standards specified in the US legislation. The Coalition noted that it may even be possible that the technology still does not exist even after the 24 month delay and so requests that the legislator consider a further review following this 24 month period.
  • Some of the implementation dates specified in the US proposal are 2 years sooner than those specified in the International Convention. The Coalition has raised concern over the acceleration of the dates already agreed to by the IMO.
  • There remains ambiguity in respect of coastal voyages, and the Coalition has suggested that the text could be improved to facilitate treatment options for vessels involved in coastal trades.

A copy of the letter can be downloaded here:

Contact:Tim Wilkins or Joseph A. Angelo