USCG Ballast Water Management Regulation in the USA

For many years, the United States has been affected by invasive species. That is why the U.S. Coast Guard now prohibits ships to discharge untreated ballast water in U.S. waters.

Linked to the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, the US Coast Guard (USCG) established in 2004 the rules for controlling the discharge of Living Organisms from ships’ Ballast Water in US waters, through publication of 33 CFR Part 151 and 46 CFR Part 162.

The Rules have been effective since June 21, 2012, and can be downloaded from the Federal Register website:

---->  The rules for deballasting water in US waters  <----



The final Rules prohibit all vessels with ballast tanks to discharge untreated Ballast Water into US waters.

As in the IMO BWM Convention, there is an implementation schedule depending on the BW capacity and construction date of the vessel.

  Year of construction Ballast Water Capacity Compliance Date
New Vessels On or after 1st December 2013 All On delivery 
Existing Vessels Before 1st December 2013 < 1500 m3

First scheduled drydocking after 1st January 2016

1500 - 5000 m3 First scheduled drydocking after 1st January 2014
> 5000 m3 First scheduled drydocking after 1st  January 2016