TVIB News Tava Foret

USCG: Proposed Rule on User Fees for Inspected Towing Vessels – Is It On The Way?

Published 10/05/2021

Click here to access the rulemaking announcement from reginfo.gov

Title: User Fees for Inspected Towing Vessels

Abstract: This rulemaking would revise user fees for towing vessels inspected under 46 CFR subchapter M and update the existing user fee in 46 CFR 2.10-101 for sea-going towing vessels inspected under 46 CFR subchapter I. These user fees are for services related to the inspection of these vessels and will reflect the differences in cost to the government to provide these services to vessels that use a safety management system involving a third party and vessels that do not.

Stay tuned for more developments.

TVIB VIDEO MESSAGE: COI Enforcement Status As Of July 1, 2021 – 75% Compliance

TVIB VIDEO MESSAGE: COI Enforcement Status As Of July 19, 2021

46 CFR 136.202(a)(3) (paraphrased) requires that all owners or managing operators must ensure that at least 75% of their towing vessels must have a valid COI on board by July 19, 2021.

For those needing to submit applications (CG-3752) or schedule Coast Guard inspections in order to obtain a COI, §136.210 (paraphrased) requires the following of owners and managing operators:

  • Schedule an inspection for the initial certification with the cognizant OCMI at least 3 months before the vessel is to undergo the inspection for certification
    • Deadline for scheduling inspection was April 19, 2021, to have met the July deadline for 75% compliance
  • Submit a CG-3752 Application for Inspection of U.S. Vessel to the cognizant OCMI where the inspection will take place at least 30 days before the vessel will undergo inspection
    • Deadline for submitting CG-3752 was June 19, 2021, to have met the July deadline for 75% compliance

 CG-835Vs Issued for Phase-In Non-Compliance Immediately

CG-CVC Policy letter 20-01, dated 2/20/2020, indicates that those owner/managing operators that fail to meet the 75% requirement by July 19, 2021, will be receiving 835’s for the remaining portion of the fleet to equal 75%. The Coast Guard will be using listed owner data from a vessel’s COD as the primary source for establishing compliance and making contact with the owner.   They will issue the 835s to the vessels with the oldest to newest build dates. According to the policy letter these 835’s will:

  • Be considered as administrative in nature and will indicate the owner/managing operator’s failure to meet the requirements of 46 CFR 136.202(a);
  • Be visible on the outward facing side of the Coast Guard’s PSIX data base; and
  • Require the owner/managing operator to make the vessel available for inspection within 90 days, failure to do so will result in a deficiency code of 60 which must be rectified prior to movement

TVIB has discussed its concerns about using COD owner information as the only source of data with various OCMIs, TVNCOE and CVC-4, as recently as this week. We have offered to share our fleet data with them in hopes of reducing the administrative burden of issuing 835V’s to owner/managing operators that are actually at or above the 75% requirement. In the event an 835 is issued to an owner/managing operator that is in fact at or above the 75% requirement and objective evidence is presented indicating same, then the 835 will be closed with no further action.

Laid Up / Out of Service Vessels Affecting Fleet COI Percentages

Besides ownership issues such as those of an LLC or a financial institution that could skew a fleet size there is another consideration for companies with vessels they consider to be out of service. If an operator owns a vessel that they consider out of service or on “port risk” but have taken no official action with the Coast Guard to remove the vessel from service, those vessels will count towards a total fleet size and will be included in the 75% requirement.  A vessel is not required to have a COI in order to be placed into “laid up status” (reference CVC-WI-018(1)) which will reduce an operator’s fleet size. However, if a vessel is placed into “laid up status” it will be required to obtain a COI before entering back into service.

USCG: Cancellation of CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-17, Guidelines for Issuing Endorsements for Tankerman PIC Restricted to Fuel Transfers on Towing Vessels

Excerpt from notice published on 05/25/2021

The Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing (CG-MMC) announces the cancellation of Policy Letter 01-17, Guidelines for Issuing Endorsements for Tankerman PIC Restricted to Fuel Transfers on Towing Vessels. The policy was canceled by the rulemaking on Person in Charge (PIC) of Fuel Transfers (USCG-2018-0493) effective May 27, 2020. The Coast Guard will no longer issue or renew Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) endorsements for Tankerman PIC Restricted to Fuel Transfers on Towing Vessels.

Click here to download the full notice.

Click here to access the Final Rule on Person in Charge of Fuel Transfers