TVIB News Industry Press

USCG: Sub M – Timing of Annual Surveys Performed Under an Internal Survey Program

“If the TSMS prescribes the internal survey be conducted as a single event, then the survey shall be based on the anniversary date of the COI and may take place within a six-month window, between 90 days prior to and 90 days after the anniversary date. However, surveys for renewal, which occur every five years, must be completed within 90 days before the expiration date of the COI.” – Excerpt from CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-04 CH-2 – dated 12/31/2019.

In late November, just before Thanksgiving, TVIB submitted an appeal to the USCGs interpretation of the timing for annual surveys performed under an internal survey program. The TVNCOE had interpreted that annual surveys performed under an internal survey program must be performed within 12 months of the previous annual internal survey. This interpretation was upheld by CG-CVC. TVIB contended that the regulations were silent on the timing for annual surveys performed as a single event and therefor held that the timeline stated for those same surveys performed under an external survey program would be subject to the 90-days before or 90-days after the anniversary date of the COI. We felt that there we no risks to the safety profile of the vessel by allowing the same time frame for annual surveys under an internal or external survey program. Further, to hold a vessel to their interpretation would create a form of “creep” where an operator would lose time each year in order to ensure the survey was completed on time.

TVIB was notified on 12/31/2019 that the USCG had reviewed the appeal and determined the following: “we find it appropriate to extend a similar compliance schedule for a single event internal survey to that outlined for the external survey program. Therefore, if the owner or managing operator chooses to conduct the internal survey in 46 CFR 137.210, as one event, then the survey must be conducted within 3 months of the anniversary date of the COI (+ or – 3 months).” This finding resulted in a policy change which can be found in CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-04 CH-2, dated 12/31/2019. This was a positive result for the industry and we wish to thank the USCG for their careful consideration of TVIBs appeal on this matter. Further, we have updated our original blog post from 09/30/2019 to remove language related to “unless otherwise prescribed” in reference to this matter.

Click here to download CG-CVC Policy Letter to 17-04 CH-2.

USCG: Random Drug Testing Rate for Covered Crewmembers for 2020

12/27/2019 Federal Register

The Coast Guard has set the calendar year 2020 minimum random drug testing rate at 50% of covered crewmembers. The minimum random drug testing rate is effective January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

The Coast Guard continues a 50% minimum random drug testing rate for 2020 as a result of MIS data for the most recent reporting year which indicated that the positive rate continues to be greater than one percent. 46 CFR 16.230(f)(2) requires the Commandant to set the minimum random drug testing rate at 50% when the positivity rate for drug use is greater than 1 percent.

Marine employers are required by 46 CFR 16.500 to collect and maintain a record of drug testing data for each calendar year, and submit this data to the Coast Guard in a Management Information System (MIS) Report by March 15 of the following year.

Click here to review the full notice published in the Federal Register.

USCG: River Industry Day 2019 – Huntington

12/17/19 – U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington and the Huntington District Waterways Association hosted their second annual River Industry Day.  CDR Mangini, Commanding Officer of MSU Huntington and Bill Barr, President of the Huntington District Waterways Associated welcomed attendees and then jumped right in to a broad agenda that covered a year in review for the unit, Subchapter M and a COI signing to start the day.

Mr. Geoff Scibek, Chief, Inspections Division for the unit and Ms. Jill Bessetti, District 8 Towing Vessel Coordinator provided an update on the current status of towing vessel inspections and issuance of COIs. Following are some of Subchapter M metrics shared:

MSU Huntington

Towing Vessel Inspections2370

COI Status

UnitFleet SizeTSMS COIsCG COIsTotal COIs

District 8 Sector Breakdown of TSMS Option COIs


CDR Mangini signed the most recent COI for AEPs fleet and presented to Mike Weisend, Regulatory Manager for AEP.  On hand to mark the event was also Joe Lagerman and Butch Leport with AEP along with Tava Foret and Lauren Jeppson for TVIB.