COVID-19 – Ballast Water Management (BWM) Extensions

USCG Navigation Circulars(NVICs) and Policy

Document Number:14-20
Type of Document:MSIB
Published Date:April 09, 2020
Effective Date:April 09, 2020
Current Status:Effective
The Coast Guard is adjusting its extension policy, with regard to Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS) compliance dates before April 1, 2020, for those vessels impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coast Guard expects that the installation and commissioning of a BWTS will be completed as scheduled for any vessel which conducts a credit drydock before April 1, 2021. Where the COVID-19 pandemic has rendered it impractical to perform necessary or scheduled work on a vessel, the following guidance regarding an extension is provided:
  • All compliance dates may be extended upon request for up to 12 months. No supporting documentation is required, but the vessel owner / operator must identify the vessel to the Coast Guard.
  • Requests for extensions greater than 12 months must include:
    • Documentation that a BWTS system was purchased, and arrangements were made to have it installed.
    • Documentation that the system could not be installed due to COVID-19 related restrictions
    • Documentation of the plan for installing the system, including a list of previously performed and scheduled work, as well as an estimate as to when and how installation and commissioning will be completed
Where arrangements were made to convert an Alternate Management System (AMS) to a Coast Guard type approved system but was not completed due to the pandemic, an extension may be requested to continue operating the AMS until the conversion can be accomplished.

All extension requests should be scanned and sent in by email at
    View this regulation in PDF format.

J. Connor Consulting, Inc. Teaming with Industry