Applicability: All owners and operators of commercial vessels more than 79 feet in length operating within the US waters Three Nautical Mile Line (excluding military and recreational vessels)

Further to Classification News Nos. 30/2008, 18/2009, and 33/2011, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final Vessel General Permit (VGP) comes into effect on December 19, 2013.

The following are some of the notable changes contained in the final VGP:

  • 27 specific discharge categories will be covered (there are currently 26), including fish hold effluent.
  • Numeric ballast water discharge limits have been set.
    Functional requirements for ballast water treatment systems have been added.
  • Vessels entering the Great Lakes will be required to further reduce the risk of invasive species via ballast water treatment, exchange, or salt water flushing.
  • More stringent effluent limits have been set for oil-to-sea interfaces and exhaust gas scrubber wash water discharges (for example, the permissible pH of discharged wash water has been reduced from 6.5 to no less than 6.0).
  • Practical guidance has been added which clarifies the circumstances when use of environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) is not technically feasible.

Information about all the changes to the final VGP, and a copy of the permit itself, can be found at on the EPA website: 

Vessel General Permit

For any questions about the final VGP, please contact the EPA at:

For further information 

Speak to one of our experts at your local Lloyd's Register office.