US State specific Ballast Water Management requirements

Date: 07/07/2016
Author: Jacqueline Tan

The USCG’s Final Rule issued on 23rd March 2012 has been in effect since 21st June 2012. The ballast water discharge standard under the Final Rule aligns with the below D2 discharge standard in the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention 2004:  

  1. For organisms greater than or equal to 50 micrometers in minimum dimension: discharge must include fewer than 10 living organisms per cubic meter of ballast water.
  2. For organisms less than 50 micrometers and greater than or equal to 10 micrometers: discharge must include fewer than 10 living organisms per millilitre (mL) of ballast water.
  3. Indicator microorganisms must not exceed:
    1. For Toxicogenic Vibrio cholerae (serotypes O1 and O139): a concentration of less than 1 colony forming unit (cfu) per 100 mL.
    2. For Escherichia coli: a concentration of fewer than 250 cfu per 100 mL.
    3. For intestinal enterococci: a concentration of fewer than 100 cfu per 100 mL.

Some US states however have introduced additional state specific ballast water management requirements for vessels calling at ports in those states. The Club has summarised the main additional requirements for some of these states for our Members’ reference and guidance. 

The list of states on the attached table is however not exhaustive and while we will monitor for changes and update the state requirements as necessary, the information in the table should not be relied upon as being definitive. Members should continue to be guided by their US port agents when calling at ports in these US states.

If Members have any questions relating to ballast water management regulations, please do not hesitate to contact: Jacqueline Tan (,  Jeff Lock (, George Radu ( or Dr Chao Wu (

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