TVIB News Subchapter M Updates

Subchapter M  TSMS Certificates – Compliance Dates Are Fast Approaching

Have you selected your Third-Party Organization for Subchapter M Compliance?  Have you entered into a formal agreement yet?  Don’t wait until July 20, 2018 to start planning for your External Management Audit for a TSMS Certificate. You must be operating under a valid TSMS Certificate for a minimum of 6 months prior to the issuance of a COI for a vessel.

If you are AWO RCP Certified and have a Mid-Period Management Audit due this year, you should consider having your External Management Audit for a TSMS Certificate completed in conjunction with your RCP Mid-Period Management Audit.  Your Mid-Period Management Audit will need to review the gap between your last certification audit and the 2016 revisions to the RCP, in addition to the requirements for a Mid-Period Management Audit. The delta between that audit and a TSMS Compliance audit is not that great.

If your company is AWO RCP Certified, have you considered what you audit rotation cycle will look like?  There could be an overlap of audit cycles for RCP and TSMS compliance. TVIB stands ready to work with your organization to set up a plan to give you the greatest value in your upcoming audits while lessening the burden of overlapping audit cycles or “audit creep.”

TVIB will be releasing the External TSMS Management Process and Audit Checklist to its members in the coming days. Make certain that you have updated your contact information on the Member Portal so you can access these documents as soon as they are published. We will send out an announcement when they are available for download from the Member Portal on the TVIB website.

For more information on selecting TVIB as your TPO or if you have questions related to Subchapter M compliance, contact Tava Foret at 832-323-2155 or tavaf@thetvib.org or Chris Parsonage at 832-323-2188 or chrisp@thetvib.org.

USCG Policy Letter on the Use of Existing SMSs To Obtain an Initial Certificate of Inspection (COI) Under 46 CFR Subchapter M

May 24, 2017

The Coast Guard issued the much anticipated policy letter for the use of existing safety management systems to obtain an initial Certificate of Inspection (COI) under 46 CFR Subchapter M. Following is an excerpt from CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-02:

POLICY. An owner or managing operator and a TPO of vessels choosing a TSMS option and seeking to obtain a vessel’s initial COI may use the following options as a means to provide objective evidence of a vessel’s use of an ISM-based SMS or Coast Guard accepted SMS as provided for in 46 CFR 138.225.

a.  Coast Guard accepted existing safety management system (Such as RCP)— with an audit completed within three years: A TPO may reduce the breadth and depth of the external management audit required for the TSMS Certificate. This may include only a sample of the TSMS elements to verify compliance. A vessel using this option must have been credited with a vessel audit and successfully completed a survey in accordance with 46 CFR 137.202(a) within one year prior to the date the vessel is scheduled for its initial COI issuance. The TPO must have objective evidence that the vessel is compliance with the applicable portions of Subchapter M such as documentation of an internal or external survey and an external audit. Also, there must be no outstanding major non-conformities associated with either the vessel’s audit or survey on the date the vessel is scheduled for its initial COI issuance. Consistent with 46 CFR 138.225(d), the OCMI, who will be conducting the initial COI inspection, must be able to examine the materials submitted by the owner or managing operator at least 30 days before the date the vessel is scheduled to be inspected to see if it contains objective evidence that non-conformities were identified and corrected.

b. Coast Guard accepted existing safety management system (such as RCP) —No audit within three years: If the owner or managing operator has been issued a TSMS Certificate, but the vessel has not undergone a safety management system audit, or the audit is beyond three years of the date the vessel is scheduled for its initial COI issuance, the TPO must conduct a vessel audit and confirm the completion of a satisfactory survey per Subchapter M regulations. The survey may either be an external survey performed by a TPO or an internal survey performed by appropriately-qualified in-house or contract personnel. An internal survey is subject to the verification of a TPO, but that verification need not include a visit to the vessel unless the TPO has reason to question the validity of the survey report or otherwise determines a visit is needed. Consistent with 46 CFR 136.210, 137.130(c), 137.202(a), and 138.225(d), the OCMI who will be conducting the initial COI inspection must be able to examine the materials submitted by the owner or managing operator at least 30 days before the date the vessel is scheduled to be inspected to see if it contains objective evidence that non-conformities were identified and corrected.

Click here to download the USCG Policy Letter in its entirety: CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-02

SUB M – Policy Letter – Endorsement for Tankerman PIC Restricted to Fuel Transfers on Towing Vessels

One of the unintended consequences of Subchapter M is the triggering of 33 CFR 155.710(e)(1) which requires the PIC onboard an inspected vessel transfering fuel oil requiring a Declaration of Inspection (DOI) hold an MMC authorizing service as a master, mate, pilot, engineer, or operator as per 46 CFR Part 11 OR a valid MMC endorsed as Tankerman PIC as per 46 CFR Part 13.

A towing vessel’s transition to inspected status triggers the above requirement.

On 03/10/2017 the Coast Guard issued a policy letter providing guidance for issuing Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) endorsements of Tankerman Person In Charge (PIC) Restricted to Fuel Transfers on Towing Vessels.

Click here to download the policy letter.