New California BWM legislation will come into force on July 1st (#legal #liability)
The California State Lands Commission (SLC) has adopted new rules on ballast water management and these will take effect in the State of California on July 1st 2017. The rules codify enforcement of the Californian Marine Invasive Species Act (MISA). North P&I has reminded Members that, when calling at ports in the US or sailing through US waters, it is important to remember that, in addition to the federal USCG rules, State laws, which may be more stringent than those set by the national government, may be in force. US law firm Keesal, Young & Logan has issued an alert advising of the forthcoming rules.
MISA applies to vessels over 300GT that are capable of carrying ballast water. The ballast water management requirements address:
1. Vessels arriving in California Waters from a port or place outside the Pacific Coast Region.
2. Vessels arriving in California Waters from a port or place within the Pacific Coast Region, with ballast water from the Pacific Coast Region.
Penalties for MISA Violations
MISA authorises the SLC to pursue civil penalties which should not exceed US$27,500 per violation. The violations can be categorised as:
Civil penalties for improper ballast water exchanges;
Civil penalties for improper ballast water recordkeeping and reporting;
Falsification of records and reports is punishable by up to one year in jail. http://www.kyl.com/2017/04/21/maritime-alert-california-state-lands-commission-announces-new-regulations-for-enforcement-of-californias-ballast-water-management-regulations/