Lagersmit cares for nature and respects regulations to protect the (maritime) world. We therefore are constantly checking the trends in the maritime world and developing (green) sealing solutions helping you to be compliant with different regulations and protecting nature.

Regulations protecting nature

Currently there are a few regulations that are already effective or are going to be in effect in the next year to protect maritime nature:

Vessel General Permit

On 19 December 2013, the revised Vessel General Permit (VGP) issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have come into force. This means that the VGP mandates the use of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EAL) in all oil-to-water interfaces (e.g. stern tube seals, thruster seals) on all merchant vessels of 79 feet or longer that are sailing in US coastal and inland waters – unless technically infeasible. What does this all mean?

Ballast Water Management

Due to the accession of the Bahamas the total number of contracting states to the treaty has reached 59, which represents 65.18 % of the global fleet by tonnage. This means that the convention will definitely enter into force on September 8, 2017.

The treaty requires for ballast water to be treated before it’s released. All ships in international trade have to manage their ballast water according to an approved ballast water management plan, carry a ballast water record book and an international ballast water management certificate. The standards will be phased in over a period of time. Until then ships should exchange ballast water mid-ocean. Eventually most ships need to install a ballast water treatment system which is approved by national authorities, according to a process developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Port State Control

Every merchant vessel passing through foreign ports may be controlled by the national authorities to verify that the condition of the vessel and its equipment comply with the requirements of international regulations. A vessel needs to be manned and operated in compliance with these rules. The inspection will be carried out by officers representing the national port authority of each country. The legal instruments of these officers are the international maritime conventions about safety, pollution prevention and working conditions on board a vessel. Non-compliance may lead to costly delays or even detention.

Polar Code

The IMO has adopted the International Code of Safety for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) and related amendments to make it mandatory under both the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The Polar Code covers the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles. The Polar Code entered into force on 1 January 2017.

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