MVCS Certifications

Marine Vapor Control System (MVCS) Regulations:

Since 1990, various Federal and State regulations have been enacted requiring certain marine transfer facilities to control their volatile or hazardous cargo vapor emissions.


The Coast Guard, under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, is charged with ensuring that vapor control systems installed to collect these cargo vapors meet minimum safety standards for design and operation.


In 1990, the first safety regulation required for marine vapor control system (MVCS) was published in the USA under 33 CFR 154 Subpart E. The regulation originally required MVCS safety requirements for facilities that loaded certain regulated volatile cargoes, such as gasoline, crude oil or benzene. As time passed, the list of regulated chemicals increased, and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) safety requirements have been expanded to encompass the additional cargo vapors.


In July 2013, the USCG revised the existing MVCS regulations and published new safety regulations for facility and vessel vapor control systems (VCS’s) to promote maritime safety and marine environmental protection under 33 CFR 154 Subpart P.  The original 33 CFR 154 Subpart E was abandoned.


What is new in the MVCS Regulations:


The following MVCS compliance requirements were added:


·         Existing MVCS certified facilities need to perform an Operational review every five years.

·         Tank Barge Cleaning facility VCS falling under safety Standards of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular No. 1–96 must comply with the new regulations.




The new regulations apply to:

·         Each facility VCS that began operating on or after July 23, 1990, and that is certified as in compliance with 33 CFR part 154, Subpart E on August 15, 2013.

·         Each existing tank barge cleaning facility VCS that meets the safety Standards of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular No. 1–96.

·         A facility with a Coast Guard approved VCS operating prior to July 23, 1990, must comply with 33 CFR 154.2150, but otherwise need not comply with this subpart if it does not have any design or configuration alterations after its approval, and receives cargo vapor only from the specific vessels for which it was originally approved.


Deadline to meet regulation:


Each affected facility must comply with 33 CFR Part 154, Subpart P by August 15, 2016.