TVIB Approved by U.S. Coast Guard as a Third-Party Organization (TPO)

The U.S. Coast Guard Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise (TVNCOE) has approved the Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau (TVIB) as a Third-Party Organization (TPO) in accordance with 46 CFR Part 139.

As a TPO, TVIB is approved to perform the following functions for towing vessel operators: (1) Conduct audits of a Towing Safety Management System (TSMS), and the vessels to which the TSMS applies, to verify compliance with the applicable sections of 46 CFR Subchapter M; (2) Issue TSMS certificates to an owner or managing operator who is in compliance with 46 CFR Part 138; (3) Conduct surveys of towing vessels to verify compliance with Subchapter M; and (4) Issue survey reports detailing the results of surveys, carried out in compliance with 46 CFR Part 137.

TVIB has a well-known process in place for providing AWO RCP audits that will be modified to meet the additional requirements under Subchapter M. Since 2014, TVIB auditors have conducted more than 250 towing safety management system audits and 500 audits of towing vessels operating under those safety management systems to verify compliance with AWO’s RCP. TVIB will be working with client companies to provide a smooth transition from the RCP audit environment to Subchapter M compliance, including options for implementing the external or internal survey program.

TVIB is excited about the opportunity to help even more towing vessel operators of all sizes chart their own course to regulatory compliance through its new role as a TPO. The U.S. Coast Guard’s approval reinforces TVIB’s position as the recognized professional trade organization of marine auditors and surveyors possessing solid industry knowledge and extensive experience. TVIB has trained more than 100 auditors and surveyors who are spread across the country and have practical operational knowledge about all segments of the towing industry.

TVIB is prepared to continue its objective to provide consistent, objective and independent audits and surveys for the industry as the “TPO You Know and Trust.”

About TVIB: Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau was founded in 2010 as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit professional trade organization of marine auditors and surveyors. We have a broad network of operators throughout the U.S. TVIB educates, develops audit and survey tools and certifies marine auditors and surveyors to perform audits and surveys for Subchapter M and the American Waterways Operators’ Responsible Carrier Program (RCP). TVIB is an ISO 9001:2008 Certified Organization. This standard indicates the efficacy of our quality management system and its impact on the organization’s ability to meet both member needs and regulatory requirements while enhancing our position in the marketplace. Our members provide marine audit and survey services to inland, coastal and ocean-going towing operators across the country. Visit for more information.

For Further Information Contact:

Chris Parsonage, Executive Director

Tava S. Foret, Director of Audit and Survey Services

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