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Code No: 1103

Video Running Time: 49 minutes


Vessel General Permit (VGP) is a system of environmental regulation designed to reduce pollution by vessels visiting US ports or operating in US waters. It is comprehensive and deals with many areas previously unregulated. Yet even for the best managed vessels it provides a significant challenge, requiring a detailed review of environmental protection procedures, vessel inspection schedules, manning levels, crew training and qualifications, recording and documentation.

Vessel General Permit is in two sections. The first section introduces the regulation, defines its scope, and describes its relationship to other legislation, such as the Clean Water Act (CWA). It goes on to describe its four main strands: self inspection, rectification, documentation and self reporting. It concludes with an outline of the enforcement procedures and penalties for violating the regulations.

The second section describes the 26 waste streams eligible for the permit and the limits set for discharges. It also identifies more general requirements for material storage, toxic and hazardous materials, discharges of oil, and care with bunkering. It points out that vessels must also comply with other relevant statutes. This section concludes with a summary and useful checklist for seafarers entering US waters.

Regulations AddressedVGP is issued under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) which is part of the CWA. This programme meets the requirement for training on board.

Target Audience

Seafarers, senior officers, vessel owners and operators

Main Topics

  • Introduction
  • Evolution
  • VGP Scope
  • Significance
  • Meeting VGP Requirements
  • Record Keeping
  • Inspection and Monitoring
  • Training
  • The 5 General Requirements
  • Enforcement
  • The 26 Categories of Effluent
  • Summary

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