California moves ahead on biofouling regs

AUGUST 16, 2017 — In another unilateral move that is several jumps ahead of anything in IMO or U.S. regulations, California is set to tighten up its regulations on biofouling to, among other things, include a requirement of mandatory biofouling management of the vessel's wetted surfaces

The California State Lands Commission has just sent a letter addressed to "Shipping Agents and Interested Parties" that notes that on April 20, 2017, the commission approved Article 4.8, Biofouling Management Regulations to Minimize the Transport of Nonindigenous Species from Vessels Arriving at California Ports. These biofouling management regulations have also been approved by California's Office of Administrative Law and are now set to become effective on October 1, 2017.

The provisions that will become effective on October 1, 2017, are:

  • Repeal of the reporting requirements for the Hull Husbandry Reporting Form, the Ballast Water Treatment Supplemental Reporting Form and the Ballast Water Treatment Annual Reporting Form
  • Adoption of the Marine Invasive Species Program Annual Vessel Reporting Form

The remaining requirements will be applicable after a vessel's first regularly scheduled out-of-water maintenance (i.e. dry dock) after January 1, 2018, or upon delivery on or after January 1, 2018, including requirements for:

  • Developing and maintaining a Biofouling Management Plan
  • Developing and maintaining a Biofouling Record Book
  • Mandatory biofouling management of the vessel's wetted surfaces
  • Mandatory biofouling management for vessels that undergo an extended residency period (i.e., remain in the same location for 45 or more days)

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