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USCG Announced Final Policy Letter for BWMS Type-Approved Testing Methods

photo of a clean ocean is description of USCG Final Rule on Type Approval Methods for BWMSIn March 2022, the United States Coast Guard announced the availability of the Final Policy Letter describing type-approval testing methods, and the acceptance process for those methods, for ballast water management systems (BWMS).

In the draft policy, the USCG did not describe the use of the existing testing method to test organism viability. However, in response to comments expressing confusion on this issue, in the final policy letter the Coast Guard elaborates on the VIDA provision prohibiting the use of stains to test viability and how that relates to accepting a viability testing method for use within the existing type-approval program.

If you have not yet had the chance to see the documents and comments, the draft policy letter is available on the USCGs website at: Documents related to the draft policy letter mentioned in this notice and all public comments to the draft policy letter are available online at under Docket USCG-2019-0477, and can be viewed by following that website’s instructions.

At this time, the US Coast Guard does not accept any type-approval testing methods for ballast water management systems that render organisms in ballast water nonviable instead of dead. To view the Final Policy Letter describing Type-Approved Testing Methods for BWMS go to

Choice Ballast Solutions experts meet regularly with governing agencies, including a number of regulatory bodies such as USCG, ABS and EPA and can provide the regulatory information to clients globally. For more information on compliance with ports and state agencies in the United States contact Rich Mueller, President at