USCG Ballast Water Management Reporting Forms
On November 24, 2015, the US Coast Guard published its Final Rule amending the ballast water management reporting and record-keeping requirements.
The rule comes into effect today, Monday, February 22.
One of the main purposes of this rule is to simplify and streamline the ballast water report form for ship operators/owners. However, the new forms did not become available on the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse website until Friday, February 19 which wasn't very helpful. Serious concerns were expressed to the USCG on February 20 about the extremely limited time available to vessels calling at US ports to implement these new requirements stating that it was totally unreasonable to release the new forms on February 19 and require ships calling at US port to start using them 3 days later. The US Coast Guard was also strongly urged to issue an immediate delay on the implementation and use of the new forms.
The US Coast Guard responded that they agreed with these concerns and that for the time being they will accept the old reporting form.
The National Ballast Information Clearinghouse website http://invasions.si.edu/nbic/ now contains a Note that reads:
*** NOTE *** In the event that a previous version of the BWMR form is received by the NBIC on or after 22 February 2016, the reported ballast water management data from the form will be entered into the NBIC Ballast Water Information System. The NBIC will provide support to the Maritime industry during this regulatory transition. Vessels will receive a response from the NBIC providing instructions on how to obtain new BWMR forms.
I have attached the required form and guidance notes.
No Watkins managed yachts are currently effected by this intermediate measure, so this is an act of pure generosity to yachts who aren't managed by us. But ought to be.
The new forms and guidance notes will be circulated as an amendment to our safety management system in due course.
Ballast water. I need to get out more.
Please contact me if you require further assistance in this matter.