Ballast Management: Laws and Regulations
This page details the various laws and regulations, both existing and proposed, from the international to state level.
The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an international mandatory ballast management regime in February 2004: The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments. The convention will enter info force 12 months after it is ratified by 30 nations, representing 35 percent of the world shipping tonnage. See recent policy paper on the IMO convention: MacPhee, Briony. Hitchhikers' Guide to the Ballast Water Management Convention: An analysis of Legal Mechanisms to Address the Issue of Alien Invasive Species, Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, 10: 1, 29-54.
The principal U.S. legislation controlling the discharge of ballast water is the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance and Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA) as revised and reauthorized by the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (NISA).
Transport Canada ballast water control and management regulations require that ships exchange their ballast water outside the EEZ before entering Canadian waters and offer alternative exchange areas.
Mexico has limited AIS regulations in place.
California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii
CA, OR, and WA have passed mandatory ballast water exchange and management laws, which are similar to the federal law, but also include additional requirements for coastwise traffic.
Get a listing of each state's policy and regulations on invasive species.