The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance has published a policy letter to outline how the US Coast Guard will enforce MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 126.96.36.199.1, the Tier III NOx limits, for certain engines installed on recreational vessels above 24 meters in length and less than 500 gross tonnage. The USCG will defer enforcement on the operation of engines on large recreational vessels subject to the prohibition.
IMO postponed the application of the Tier III NOx limits for engines on large recreational vessels to 1 January 2021. While engines certified as MARPOL Annex VI Tier III compliant continue to be unavailable for use on large recreational vessels, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified engines covered by this guidance may be accepted as meeting Clean Air Act Tier 3 requirements under 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 1042.
The deferral will be available after the temporary waiver for large recreational vessels set out in Regulation 188.8.131.52 expired on 1 January 2021, until a suitable engine is available or December 31, 2023, whichever is earlier. This Policy Letter only applies to this Annex VI requirement and does not waive or otherwise affect the need to satisfy all applicable requirements of the US Clean Air Act.
The Policy Letter states that “Large recreational vessels constructed during the period of applicability of this policy letter, January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2023, will be permitted to operate engines within the US portion of the ECAs without future USCG enforcement action even though the engines are not “MARPOL-compliant engines,” – that is, they do not meet the MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13 Tier III NOx emission standard.”
Therefore, to identify as a qualifying large recreational vessel, any engine installed on a new or existing US-flagged or foreign-flagged large recreational vessel constructed before the necessary MARPOL compliant engine is available, or this Policy Letter expires must be:
– Properly certified to Clean Air Act Tier 3 emission standards (satisfied by having an EPA-issued Clean Air Act Tier 3 emission label affixed to each affected engine).
– Each affected engine must also be certified to MARPOL Tier II NOx standards. This requirement may be satisfied through proper documentation, including Technical Files and a Record Book of Engine Parameters, on board the vessel.
– When installed on the large recreational vessel for which they are qualified, these qualifying engines will retain that status indefinitely; that is, they will be considered qualifying engines after MARPOL-compliant engines become available and continuing for the operating life of the engine.
Read the Policy Letter: USCG-Policy-Letter-21-01-2021_01