(a) Included vessels

This chapter shall apply–

(1) to a ship of United States registry or nationality, or one operated under the authority of the United States, wherever located;

(2) with respect to Annexes I and II to the Convention, to a ship, other than a ship referred to in paragraph (1), while in the navigable waters of the United States;

(3) with respect to the requirements of Annex V to the Convention, to a ship, other than a ship referred to in paragraph (1), while in the navigable waters or the exclusive economic zone of the United States;

(4) with respect to regulations prescribed under section 1905 of this title, any port or terminal in the United States; and

(5) with respect to Annex VI to the Convention, and other than with respect to a ship referred to in paragraph (1)–

(A) to a ship that is in a port, shipyard, offshore terminal, or the internal waters of the United States;

(B) to a ship that is bound for, or departing from, a port, shipyard, offshore terminal, or the internal waters of the United States, and is in–

(i) the navigable waters or the exclusive economic zone of the United States;

(ii) an emission control area designated pursuant to section 1903 of this title; or

(iii) any other area that the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary and each State in which any part of the area is located, has designated by order as being an area from which emissions from ships are of concern with respect to protection of public health, welfare, or the environment;


(C) to a ship that is entitled to fly the flag of, or operating under the authority of, a party to Annex VI, and is in–

(i) the navigable waters or the exclusive economic zone of the United States;

(ii) an emission control area designated under section 1903 of this title; or

(iii) any other area that the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary and each State in which any part of the area is located, has designated by order as being an area from which emissions from ships are of concern with respect to protection of public health, welfare, or the environment; and


(D) to any other ship, to the extent that, and in the same manner as, such ship may be boarded by the Secretary to implement or enforce any other law of the United States or Annex I, II, or V of the Convention, and is in–

(i) the exclusive economic zone of the United States;

(ii) the navigable waters of the United States;

(iii) an emission control area designated under section 1903 of this title; or

(iv) any other area that the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary and each State in which any part of the area is located, has designated by order as being an area from which emissions from ships are of concern with respect to protection of public health, welfare, or the environment.

(b) Excluded vessels; discharge requirements

Terms Used In 33 USC 1902

  • Administrator: means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. See 33 USC 1901
  • Antarctic Protocol: means the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, signed October 4, 1991, in Madrid, and all annexes thereto, and includes any future amendments thereto which have entered into force. See 33 USC 1901
  • Convention: means the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, including Protocols I and II and Annexes I, II, V, and VI thereto, including any modification or amendments to the Convention, Protocols, or Annexes which have entered into force for the United States. See 33 USC 1901
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • MARPOL Protocol: means the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, and includes the Convention. See 33 USC 1901
  • navigable waters: includes the territorial sea of the United States (as defined in Presidential Proclamation 5928 of December 27, 1988) and the internal waters of the United States. See 33 USC 1901
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating. See 33 USC 1901
  • ship: means a vessel of any type whatsoever, including hydrofoils, air-cushion vehicles, submersibles, floating craft whether self-propelled or not, and fixed or floating platforms. See 33 USC 1901
  • submersible: means a submarine, or any other vessel designed to operate under water. See 33 USC 1901
  • terminal: means an onshore facility or an offshore structure located in the navigable waters of the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and used, or intended to be used, as a port or facility for the transfer or other handling of a harmful substance. See 33 USC 1901
  • vessel: includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. See 1 USC 3

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), this chapter shall not apply to–

(A) a ship of the Armed Forces described in paragraph (2); or

(B) any other ship specifically excluded by the MARPOL Protocol or the Antarctic Protocol.


(2) A ship described in this paragraph is a ship that is owned or operated by the Secretary, with respect to the Coast Guard, or by the Secretary of a military department, and that, as determined by the Secretary concerned–

(A) has unique military design, construction, manning, or operating requirements; and

(B) cannot fully comply with the discharge requirements of Annex V to the Convention because compliance is not technologically feasible or would impair the operations or operational capability of the ship.


(3)(A) Notwithstanding any provision of the MARPOL Protocol, the requirements of Annex V to the Convention shall apply to all ships referred to in subsection (a) other than those described in paragraph (2).

(B) A ship that is described in paragraph (2) shall limit the discharge into the sea of garbage as follows:

(i) The discharge into the sea of plastics, including synthetic ropes, synthetic fishing nets, plastic garbage bags, and incinerator ashes from plastic products that may contain toxic chemicals or heavy metals, or the residues thereof, is prohibited.

(ii) Garbage consisting of the following material may be discharged into the sea, subject to subparagraph (C):

(I) A non-floating slurry of seawater, paper, cardboard, or food waste that is capable of passing through a screen with openings no larger than 12 millimeters in diameter.

(II) Metal and glass that have been shredded and bagged (in compliance with clause (i)) so as to ensure negative buoyancy.

(III) With regard to a submersible, nonplastic garbage that has been compacted and weighted to ensure negative buoyancy.

(IV) Ash from incinerators or other thermal destruction systems not containing toxic chemicals, heavy metals, or incompletely burned plastics.


(C)(i) Garbage described in subparagraph (B)(ii)(I) may not be discharged within 3 nautical miles of land.

(ii) Garbage described in subclauses (II), (III), and (IV) of subparagraph (B)(ii) may not be discharged within 12 nautical miles of land.

(D) Notwithstanding subparagraph (C), a ship described in paragraph (2) that is not equipped with garbage-processing equipment sufficient to meet the requirements of subparagraph (B)(ii) may discharge garbage that has not been processed in accordance with subparagraph (B)(ii) if such discharge occurs as far as practicable from the nearest land, but in any case not less than–

(i) 12 nautical miles from the nearest land, in the case of food wastes and non-floating garbage, including paper products, cloth, glass, metal, bottles, crockery, and similar refuse; and

(ii) 25 nautical miles from the nearest land, in the case of all other garbage.


(E) This paragraph shall not apply when discharge of any garbage is necessary for the purpose of securing the safety of the ship, the health of the ship’s personnel, or saving life at sea. In the event that there is such a discharge, the discharge shall be reported to the Secretary, with respect to the Coast Guard, or the Secretary concerned.

(F) This paragraph shall not apply during time of war or a national emergency declared by the President or Congress.

(c) Application to other persons

This chapter shall apply to all persons to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with Annex VI to the Convention.

(d) Discharges in special areas

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), not later than December 31, 2000, all surface ships owned or operated by the Department of the Navy, and not later than December 31, 2008, all submersibles owned or operated by the Department of the Navy, shall comply with the special area requirements of Regulation 5 of Annex V to the Convention.

(2)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), any ship described in subparagraph (C) may discharge, without regard to the special area requirements of Regulation 5 of Annex V to the Convention, the following non-plastic, non-floating garbage:

(i) A slurry of seawater, paper, cardboard, or food waste that is capable of passing through a screen with openings no larger than 12 millimeters in diameter.

(ii) Metal and glass that have been shredded and bagged so as to ensure negative buoyancy.

(iii) With regard to a submersible, nonplastic garbage that has been compacted and weighted to ensure negative buoyancy.


(B)(i) Garbage described in subparagraph (A)(i) may not be discharged within 3 nautical miles of land.

(ii) Garbage described in clauses (ii) and (iii) of subparagraph (A) may not be discharged within 12 nautical miles of land.

(C) This paragraph applies to any ship that is owned or operated by the Department of the Navy that, as determined by the Secretary of the Navy–

(i) has unique military design, construction, manning, or operating requirements; and

(ii) cannot fully comply with the special area requirements of Regulation 5 of Annex V to the Convention because compliance is not technologically feasible or would impair the operations or operational capability of the ship.


(3)(A) Not later than December 31, 2000, the Secretary of the Navy shall prescribe and publish in the Federal Register standards to ensure that each ship described in subparagraph (B) is, to the maximum extent practicable without impairing the operations or operational capabilities of the ship, operated in a manner that is consistent with the special area requirements of Regulation 5 of Annex V to the Convention.

(B) Subparagraph (A) applies to surface ships that are owned or operated by the Department of the Navy that the Secretary plans to decommission during the period beginning on January 1, 2001, and ending on December 31, 2005.

(C) At the same time that the Secretary publishes standards under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a list of the ships covered by subparagraph (B).

(e) Discharge of agricultural cargo residue

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the discharge from a vessel of any agricultural cargo residue material in the form of hold washings shall be governed exclusively by the provisions of this chapter that implement Annex V to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.

(f) Regulations

The Secretary or the Administrator, consistent with section 1903 of this title, shall prescribe regulations applicable to the ships of a country not a party to the MARPOL Protocol (or the applicable Annex), including regulations conforming to and giving effect to the requirements of Annex V and Annex VI as they apply under subsection (a) of this section, to ensure that their treatment is not more favorable than that accorded ships to parties to the MARPOL Protocol.

(g) Compliance by excluded vessels

(1) The Secretary of the Navy shall develop and, as appropriate, support the development of technologies and practices for solid waste management aboard ships owned or operated by the Department of the Navy, including technologies and practices for the reduction of the waste stream generated aboard such ships, that are necessary to ensure the compliance of such ships with subsection (b) of this section.

(2) Notwithstanding any effective date of the application of this section to a ship, the provisions of Annex V to the Convention and subsection (b)(3)(B)(i) of this section with respect to the disposal of plastic shall apply to ships equipped with plastic processors required for the long-term collection and storage of plastic aboard ships of the Navy upon the installation of such processors in such ships.

(3) Except when necessary for the purpose of securing the safety of the ship, the health of the ship’s personnel, or saving life at sea, it shall be a violation of this chapter for a ship referred to in subsection (b)(1)(A) of this section that is owned or operated by the Department of the Navy:

(A) With regard to a submersible, to discharge buoyant garbage or plastic.

(B) With regard to a surface ship, to discharge plastic contaminated by food during the last 3 days before the ship enters port.

(C) With regard to a surface ship, to discharge plastic, except plastic that is contaminated by food, during the last 20 days before the ship enters port.


(4) The Secretary of Defense shall publish in the Federal Register:

(A) Each year, the amount and nature of the discharges in special areas, not otherwise authorized under this chapter, during the preceding year from ships referred to in subsection (b)(1)(A) of this section owned or operated by the Department of the Navy.

(B) Beginning on October 1, 1996, and each year thereafter until October 1, 1998, a list of the names of such ships equipped with plastic processors pursuant to section 1003(e) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994.

(h) Waiver authority

The President may waive the effective dates of the requirements set forth in subsection (c) 1 of this section and in subsection 1003(e) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 if the President determines it to be in the paramount interest of the United States to do so. Any such waiver shall be for a period not in excess of one year. The President shall submit to the Congress each January a report on all waivers from the requirements of this section granted during the preceding calendar year, together with the reasons for granting such waivers.

(i) Noncommercial shipping standards

The heads of Federal departments and agencies shall prescribe standards applicable to ships excluded from this chapter by subsection (b)(1) of this section and for which they are responsible. Standards prescribed under this subsection shall ensure, so far as is reasonable and practicable without impairing the operations or operational capabilities of such ships, that such ships act in a manner consistent with the MARPOL Protocol.

(j) Savings clause

Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict in a manner inconsistent with international law navigational rights and freedoms as defined by United States law, treaty, convention, or customary international law.