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Vessel General Permit guidelines

Find out about Vessel General Permit (VGP) regulations and ExxonMobil marine's environmentally acceptable lubricants that meet EPA requirements.

In December 2013, the United States Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) Vessel General Permit (VGP) became effective, requiring any vessel greater than 79 feet to use environmentally acceptable lubricants* (EAL) in all oil-to-sea interfaces.

To support your efforts to comply with the VGP legislation, ExxonMobil offers Mobil SHC™ Aware™ – a full range of synthetic marine lubricant products. These high-performance lubricants also offer outstanding equipment protection, helping you reduce costs and increase productivity.

Additional VGP facts

  • The regulations include the Great Lakes and US waters up to a range of three miles from the coast.
  • Seals and equipment need to be maintained to regulation standards, with fines for non-compliance.
  • Affected marine applications include: stern tubes, controllable pitch propellers, stabilizers, rudders, thrusters, azipods, wire ropes and towing notch interfaces.
  • Vessel operators were not required to switch to EAL oils in December 2013 if it was technically infeasible to do so.
  • An oil change may not be feasible until the next scheduled dry dock, which may be some time in the future.
  • While not mandated by the VGP, the EPA also strongly encourages the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants in all above-deck equipment to further reduce risk to the environment.

*Environmentally acceptable lubricants are defined in the VGP as lubricants that are biodegradable, minimally toxic and are not bioaccumulative.