881 - 04/13 - MARPOL Annex V Implementations - US/Canada

The United States Coastguard has published an Interim Rule which implements the revised MARPOL Annex V garbage regulation of which amendments entered into force on 1st January 2013. The Interim Rule revises US Regulations (33 C.F.R. Part 151) to reflect US requirements under Annex V.


The USCG has issued a guidance letter (Interim Guidance for Revised MARPOL Annex V Implementation (CG-CVC Policy Letter 13-01)) to aid vessels in ensuring their compliance with the US regulations. The Interim Rule is intended to act as guidance until US regulations are fully updated as to be in-line with Annex V requirements.


The amendments to Annex V, which entered into force in January, impose stricter garbage management procedures and documentation requirements for all vessels and imposes a general prohibition on the discharge of all garbage unless the discharge is expressly provided for under the regulations.


All vessels calling in US waters are expected to be fully compliant with the amended Annex V regulations, and USCG Port State Control will be carrying out inspections to verify compliance.




The following differences between existing U.S. regulations and the amended MARPOL Annex V should be noted.


a.  Garbage Record Book (33 CFR 151.55 / MARPOL Annex V (amended) Regulation 10):

While the applicability has not changed, there are notable changes in the general reporting format of the garbage record book to account for the increased restrictions on the discharge of garbage into the sea. The garbage record book, whether as part of the ship’s official logbook or otherwise, shall be in the form specified in Resolution MEPC.201(62).


b.  Waste Management Plan (33 CFR 151.57 / MARPOL Annex V (amended) Regulation 10):

Requirements for domestic oceangoing ships have not changed. However, the applicability for non-U.S. flagged ships that engage in international voyages has been reduced from 400 gross tonnage and above to 100 gross tonnage and above. Garbage management plans should reflect the collecting, on board storage, and final disposition of garbage per the revised requirements.


c.  Placards (33 CFR 151.59 / MARPOL Annex V (amended) Regulation 10):

While the applicability has not changed, placards must be updated to reflect the new garbage discharge requirements. Until U.S. regulations are updated to reflect the new garbage discharge regime and placards are readily available,

U.S. flagged ships operating exclusively on domestic voyages may continue to use existing placards. U.S. flagged ships on international voyages and visiting ports of a country that are party to MARPOL Annex V will need to meet the annex’s placarding requirements to avoid possible port state control action.




The full policy letter issued by the USCG can be found here


The full amendments to Annex V can be found in Resolution MEPC.201(62)



Source of Information:


United States Coast Guard


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