Statutory alert: New California biofouling regulations.
28 September 2017
Applicability: All ships of 300gt or more capable of carrying ballast water and calling at a Californian port on or after 1 October 2017
New Californian biofouling regulations and reporting requirements are being brought into effect for all ships of 300gt or more carrying – or capable of carrying – ballast water that are calling into a port in California. These will come into effect in two stages: the first set of requirements from 1 October 2017 and the second set of requirements from 1 January 2018.
From 1 October 2017, all vessels of 300gt or more are required to complete and submit a “Marine Invasive Species Program Annual Vessel Reporting Form” (SLC 600.12) at least 24 hours prior to their first arrival of the calendar year at a Californian port. This can be done using the online Reporting Form Web Application at https://misp.io/.
The second set of requirements applies to newly constructed vessels delivered into service from 1 January 2018 and existing ships beginning from the first regularly scheduled "out-of-water maintenance" period after 1 January 2018. These requirements include:
1. An on-board, vessel-specific Biofouling Management Plan that is regularly reviewed and revised at each subsequent “out-of-water maintenance”. It shall provide a description of the biofouling management strategy for that vessel in sufficient detail to allow the master to understand and follow the strategy.
2. An on-board Biofouling Record Book, detailing all inspections and biofouling management measures undertaken.
3. The master, owner or operator of the vessel to manage the biofouling following the procedures documented in the Biofouling Management Plan and record all management actions in the Biofouling Record Book.
4. That vessels that have had any extended residency period since the most recent "out-of-water maintenance" period, shall upon arrival to a Californian port, manage biofouling in “niche areas” and all wetted surfaces in a manner that is consistent with the Biofouling Management Plan, and document any activities, including inspections, cleaning and/or treatment of any biofouling that occurs as a result of the extended residency period.
The full set of requirements, published by the California State Lands Commission, can be found in CSLC Title 2, Division 3, Chapter 1, Article 48: Biofouling Management to Minimize the Transfer of Nonindigenous Species from Vessels Arriving at California Ports.