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USCG:Guidance On the Audit Scheme for Vessels Using a Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) Option CVC-PL 18-01 (CH 2)

The Coast Guard’s office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CVC) has issued Change 2 (CH 2) revision to CVC-PL 18-01 Guidance On the Audit Scheme for Vessels Using a Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) Option.

TVIB, along with other TPOs, initiated focused conversations immediately after CVC-PL 18-01 CH 1 was published with CVC. We met with CVC staff in May and again with Admiral Arguin and his staff in late July to share our concerns with two key issues: (1) the random vessel audits requirement and (2) the need for an entry point to the TSMS option for new companies, or companies that change from the USCG option to the TSMS option.  We want to thank the Admiral and his team for providing us this important opportunity to share our concerns; we feel that we were heard and this revision is a result of these important conversations.

PL 18-01 CH 2 addresses the regulation’s requirement for vessel audits to be conducted randomly.  The Coast Guard has clarified their intent that the TPO issuing the TSMS Certificate will be the entity to develop the random vessel audit program. TPOs will be developing their own expectations for scheduling, the selection of vessels to be audited and the audit notification required. The policy letter makes it clear that this program should be “distinctly different” than an audit program with a fixed schedule. The goal to spread the audits out as evenly as possible over the 5-year period of validity of the TSMS certificate.

Two points made clear in this letter are:

  • All vessels covered by the TSMS certificate must be audited at least once in the 5-year period of validity of the TSMS certificate; and
  • The vessel is not required to complete an audit prior to renewing the COI

We will be working with our Audit Committee members to create the framework for TVIB’s random vessel audit program over the coming days. We will be taking into account the need to remain as flexible as possible to account for operational constraints that impact the logistics of securing an auditor and boarding the vessel at a time to create the least disruption to our TPO customer’s operation. Once the framework has been established, we will be communicating this to all of our TPO customers and auditors. Please remember that the random vessel audit program begins after an owner/operator renews their TSMS certificate, so while some companies have already begun to renew their TSMS Certificate, many still have months or even years before this will apply to them.

We will send out a secondary correspondence regarding the other topic addressed in this policy letter – Issuing initial TSMS certificates, initial COIs for vessels under a new TSMS certificate, and external audits for initial COIs under the TSMS option.

Click here to download.

SUB M ALERT: CG Update PL 20-01 (CH 1) Subchapter M Enforcement Posture

Published 04/11/2022

CVC-1 has revised Policy Letter 20-01 (CH 1) Subchapter M Enforcement Posture for Certificate of Inspection Phase-In Requirement – The policy letter has been revised to indicate that vessels without COIs will be issued a CG-835v with a code of 60 which will prevent the vessel from moving after July 19, 2022. Additionally, they have added provisions for civil penalties for each day the violation occurs.  This will be noted outwardly on the public-facing side of PSIX.

Click here to download the policy letter.

USCG: ANPRM for Electronic Chart and Navigational Equipment Carriage Requirements

Excerpts from the ANPRM Published On 3/28/2022

“The Coast Guard seeks public input regarding the modification of the chart and navigational equipment carriage requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) outlines the Coast Guard’s broad strategy to revise its CFR chart and navigational equipment carriage requirements to implement statutory electronic-chart-use provisions for commercial U.S.-flagged vessels and certain foreign-flagged vessels operating in the waters of the United States. This ANPRM is necessary to obtain additional information from the public before issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking. It will allow us to verify the extent of the requirements for the rule, such as how widely electronic charts currently are used, which types of vessels are using them, the appropriate equipment requirements for different vessel classes, and where the vessels operate, and will thereby allow us to tailor electronic chart requirements to vessel class and location.”

PURPOSE OF THE ANPRM: “This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeks comments regarding possible modifications to the chart and navigational equipment carriage requirements in titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This ANPRM outlines the Coast Guard’s broad strategy to revise its CFR chart and navigational-equipment carriage requirements, to implement statutory electronic-chart-use provisions for commercial U.S.-flagged vessels, to include self-propelled vessels of at least 65 feet in overall length, passenger vessels for hire, towing vessels of more than 26 feet in overall length and 600 horsepower, and certain foreign-flagged vessels operating in the waters of the United States.”

“In this ANPRM, we are seeking information on how widely electronic charts are used, which types of vessels are using them, and where the vessels operate, as well as views on the appropriate equipment requirements for different vessel classes. The information obtained from this ANPRM will assist in drafting a proposed rule that tailors electronic charts requirements to vessel class and location.”

Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 27, 2022.

Click here to read the full ANPRM.