We’ve recently encountered issues with operators that have vessels that have been measured to both the “Regulatory” tonnage (GRT) and “Convention (International)” tonnage (ITC) that were surprised during COI inspections that the USCG was holding them to the ITC with regard to compliance with the Non-Tank Vessel Response Plan requirements.
Sector Ohio Valley has issued MSIB 01-2020 clarifying their position on the matter stating:
Vessels that actively operate in commercial operations without a NTVRP are subjected to, but not limited to, the following penalties; vessel detainment by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), denial of entry into a U.S. port, and/or civil penalties of more that $47,000 per day dependent upon type and scope of violation. The USCG encourages the maritime community to review the requirements and ensure their vessels meet the regulations outlined in 33 CFR Part 155 – Subpart J.
A point of confusion has arisen in terms of tonnage application for the 400 gross tons threshold. As discussed in the preamble of the regulation (Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 189 / Monday, September 30, 2013 / Rules and Regulations), if a vessel is measured using “Convention (International)” tonnage and “Regulatory” tonnage, the greater of the two is used for determining applicability of the NTVRP requirements.
Have you looked at your CODs lately?
Click here to download Sector Ohio Valley MSIB 01-2020 Non-Compliance Trend with Non-Tank Vessel Response Plan Requirements
“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.
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.