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In addition to the Rules and Guides for compliance with ABS standards, we strive to keep our clients up to date with local, national, and international regulatory news and developments.

ABS Regulatory Commentary

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05 Dec 2011- - CARB Issues Marine Notices Relating to its Low Sulfur Fuel Requirements-

  • The California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued three marine notices on 29 November 2011 pertaining to recent amendments to its Oceangoing Vessels Clean Fuel Regulations, which CARB began enforcing on 1 December 2011. The marine notices pertain to: i) the noncompliance fee program which allows entities to pay a noncompliance fee in lieu of using low sulfur fuels under specific limited circumstances; ii) mandatory recordkeeping requirements and a copy of the recordkeeping format; and iii) a summary of the safety exemption included in the regulations and the safety exemption claim form as Attachment A.
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01 Dec 2011- - US EPA Draft 2013 Vessel General Permit & Small Vessel General Permit -

  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted information on two draft vessel general permits to regulate discharges from commercial vessels in US waters. The draft vessel general permit (VGP), covering vessels greater than 79 feet in length, is intended to replace the current 2008 VGP when it expires in December 2013. A new draft small vessel general permit (SVGP) would cover commercial vessels of 79 feet in length or less and would come into effect in December 2013. With respect to ballast water treatment, the EPA is proposing effluent limits equivalent to the US Coast Guard Phase I proposed discharge standard (USCG, 2009) which is equivalent to the standard set forth in Regulation D-2 of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention.
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31 Oct 2011- - California Air Resources Board (CARB) Advises Report on Fuel Switching is Available-

  • CARB has advised that the California Maritime Academy (CMA) was contracted to evaluate issues associated with the implementation of the CARB ship fuel regulation. While most vessel operators are successfully complying with the regulation without incident, some operators have reported operational difficulties that may be related to fuel switching from heavy fuel oil to distillate fuel.
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14 Oct 2011- - Matrix of Regulations Entering into Force under the Principal IMO Conventions-

  • This September 2011 updated matrix identifies and summarizes international regulations (including MSC 89 and MEPC 62) to be complied with for the next eight years with the compliance date for new and existing ships according to ship type, size and age.
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12 Oct 2011- - US EPA - Vessel General Permit (VGP) One Time Report Electronic System Now Available -

  • The EPA has advised that the subject electronic reporting system is now available. For each vessel covered by the VGP program, the owner/operator is required to submit a one time report between 30 and 36 months after obtaining a permit for discharges incidental to the normal operation of the vessel. For vessels that obtained coverage on or before 19 September 2009, the one time report is due by 6 February 2012.
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05 Oct 2011- - California Air Resources Board (CARB) - Low Sulfur Fuel Regulations -

  • CARB issued a marine notice summarizing adopted amendments to the “Regulation for Fuel Sulfur and Other Operational Requirements for Oceangoing Vessels within California Waters and 24 Nautical Miles of the California Baseline”.
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04 Oct 2011- MEPC- Regulatory News Update -

  • The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) held its 62nd session from 11 to 15 July 2011. A Regulatory News Update is provided below.
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20 Sep 2011- - MSC 89 Update- -

  • The IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held its 89th session from 11 to 20 May 2011. A Regulatory News Update is provided below.
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03 Aug 2011- MSC- Regulatory News Update-

  • The IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held its 88th session from 24 November – 3 December 2010. A Regulatory News Update is provided below.
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26 Jul 2011- - California Air Resources Board (CARB) – Low Sulfur Fuel Regulations-

  • CARB has posted a 15-Day Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text for the Proposed Regulation “Fuel Sulfur and Other Operational Requirements for Oceangoing Vessels within California Waters and 24 Nautical Miles of the California Baseline”.
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22 Jul 2011- - Port State Control CIC on Structural Safety & Load Line Convention Compliance-

  • The Paris MOU and Tokyo MOU announced that they, the Viña del Mar, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Black Sea MOUs, will conduct a concentrated inspection campaign from 1 September through 30 November 2011.
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15 Jul 2011- MEPC- 62 Brief-

  • ABS briefing on several noteworthy actions taken at the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee's (MEPC) 62nd session held from 11 to 15 July 2011.
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15 Jul 2011- - Amendments to EU Directive on Low Sulfur Fuels Proposed-

  • The EU Commission issued a proposal to amend EU Directive 1999/32/EC relating to the sulfur content of marine fuels in order to align the Directive with the latest IMO provisions on the sulfur content of marine fuels, adapt the Directive to the IMO provisions on alternative compliance methods, maintain the link between the stricter fuel standards in SECAs and the fuel requirements for passenger ships on regular service and improve implementation of the Directive by harmonizing and strengthening provisions for monitoring of compliance and reporting.
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07 Jul 2011- - USCG Risk-based Targeting of Foreign Flagged Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) -

  • The US Coast Guard announced in the US Federal Register that its Policy Letter 11-06, Risk-based Targeting of Foreign Flagged Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs), is in effect as of 7 July 2011.
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28 Jun 2011- - USCG & US EPA on MARPOL Annex VI Air Pollution Requirements-

  • The US Coast Guard (USCG) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with each other and issued a joint letter to the marine industry on enforcement of MARPOL Annex VI Air Pollution requirements in US waters.
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22 Jun 2011- - Countries Delegating Statutory Authority to ABS-

  • This listing details the statutory authority granted to ABS by country and Convention.
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20 May 2011- - ABS Brief on MSC 89-

  • ABS briefing on several noteworthy actions taken at the IMO Maritime Safety Committee's (MSC) 89th session held from 11 to 20 May 2011.
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18 May 2011- - CARB to Hold Public Hearing on Low Sulfur Fuel Regulations-

  • The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will hold a public hearing on 23 June 2011 in Sacramento, California, to consider adoption of amendments to the "Regulations for Fuel Sulfur and Other Operational Requirements for Ocean-Going Vessels Within California Waters and 24 Nautical Miles of the California Baseline".
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17 May 2011- - US Coast Guard Provides Update to Ballast Water Rule Package-

  • On 16 May, the U.S. Coast Guard's Environmental Standards Division issued an update to the industry relative to the US Ballast Water Rule Package.
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06 May 2011- - Radiation measurement in Japanese Ports-

  • Japan sets guidelines for radiation measurements and attestations for export containers and ships in Japanese ports.
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23 Feb 2011- - California Air Resources Board (CARB) - Air Emissions -

  • CARB has posted presentation materials and draft regulatory amendments pertaining to its Regulations for Fuel Sulfur and Other Operational Requirements for Oceangoing Vessels within California Waters and 24 Nautical Miles of the California Baseline (OGV Fuel Regulation).
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18 Feb 2011- - USCG – Reminder: Vessel Response Plans Due 22 February 2011 -

  • The US Coast Guard issued a reminder to owners and operators of tank vessels operating in US waters that vessel response plans must be updated and resubmitted to USCG Headquarters by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on 22 February 2011.
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15 Feb 2011- - USCG & EPA Sign MOU on Vessel General Permit Inspections-

  • The USCG and EPA have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the cooperative programs that these two organizations will undertake to ensure compliance with the Vessel General Permit. USCG inspections occurring after 13 March 2011 will incorporate these provisions. Copies of the MOU, the press release and the corresponding CG Policy Letter are available here.
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11 Feb 2011- - New York State Notification of Delay for BWT Compliance Deadline-

  • New York State is advising shipowners and operators who applied for an extension of the compliance deadline with New York State ballast water treatment requirements of a delay in the compliance deadline from 1 January 2012 to 1 August 2013.
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03 Jan 2011- - Matrix of Regulation Entering into Force under the Principal IMO Conventions-

  • This August 2010 updated matrix identifies and summarizes international regulation to be complied with (including retroactive regulation) over the next eight years together with the compliance date according to ship type, size and age.
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