TVIB News Industry Press


Excerpt from Federal Register Notice – Vol 85, No. 102 05/27/2020

PURPOSE. This Commandant Change Notice publishes a change to Use of Electronic Charts and Publications in Lieu of Paper Charts, Maps and Publications, Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular number 01-16, 16700.4.

MAJOR CHANGES. In response to recommendations from the Navigation Safety Advisory Council and the public, the Coast Guard updated its policy on electronic carriage of the Inland Navigation Rules and electronic publications in general. This Ch-2 to NVIC 01-16 revises the NVIC, Enclosure (1) and Enclosure (2) to allow electronic editions of the Inland Navigation Rules and Vessel Traffic Service Rules so long as operators are able to display ready reference current electronic editions on their electronic device without internet connectivity by a producing a previously downloaded copy. It also provides a path for mariners to access certain required publications which are not required to be ready reference via web services. Enclosure (2) is further updated to highlight which publications are required by existing regulations to be ready reference and removes the requirement for independent back-ups. Finally, Ch-2 makes non-substantive clarifying changes throughout the NVIC and enclosures.

Click here to download NVIC 01-16 Change 2 Use of Electronic Charts and Publications in Lieu of Paper Charts, Maps and Publications

TVIB: Job Opportunity – Operations Manager

This position helps manage TPO responsibilities related to management audits, TSMS Certificates, vessel surveys/audits, drydock/internal structural examinations, and interactions with vessel owners/operators and Coast Guard representatives.

Ideal Candidate:
The ideal candidate has a passion for the towing industry and the desire to enhance the safety of vessel operations and compliance with regulatory requirements.  The ideal candidate has experience in all or a combination of safety/compliance, operations, engineering, vessel structural examinations/repairs, and Coast Guard experience.

Click here to download the Operations Manager Job Posting

COVID-19 UPDATE: Sector Mobile

On 04/07/2020 Sector Mobile sent out an email related to changes to their inspection protocols in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The email stressed that crew safety is, as always, “…at the forefront of all operational risk management decisions…” Following are the key elements from this communication related to requirements for towing vessel companies:

  1. Leveraging video inspections utilizing GOOGLE DUO, when approved by Sector Mobile.  We will be sending out procedures on how this will be conducted.  Video inspections will need to be coordinated with the Coast Guard  marine inspectors prior to scheduling.
  2. For TSMS Vessel’s seeking their initial COI, and in addition to the items requested on our checklist, the TPO can send a statement of satisfactorily observing fire, abandon ship, and man over board drills. SECTOR Mobile will then be poised to issue the COI and issue a CG-835v worklist item to conduct drills in the presence of a Coast Guard Marine Inspector within 90 days.
  3. Coast Guard Option initial COI inspections for an existing vessel will require an onboard inspection.  These inspections will be conducted on a case by case basis due to latest COVID-19 guidance and resource availability.
  4. For on vessel inspections, the entire vessel will be cleared of all personnel, with the exception of the Inspection Party.
  5. Inspection Party will consist of; Coast Guard Marine Inspector, vessel Crew, and TPO, not to exceed 5 persons total.
  6. To reduce multiple trips, the vessel will be fully vetted on our end before we attend the inspection and the vessel shall be ready for inspection.
  7. If at any time CG inspectors are met by personnel that are not part of the Inspection party as outlined above, CG members will depart the vessel and require rescheduling of the inspection.

“With the current applications we have received, prior to the changes in operations due to COVID-19, we will continue to vet those packages and schedule an inspection based on the guidelines listed above.  For packages submitted to our office during the COVID-19 crisis, there will be delays in processing as we are operating at a reduced staff to minimize inspector exposure and maintain a healthy workforce.  However, we are still vetting packages and will decide which inspection option to use when scheduling the inspection.  Certificates of Inspections will be e-mailed, and followed up with the original being mailed via the post office. With regards to meeting the 50% deadline by July 20, SECTOR Mobile has not received any guidance on relaxing the enforcement actions that was set forth earlier this year. Nonetheless, our office will do its best to accommodate all requests, and will keep you posted on any changes with enforcement actions.”

The sector noted that the situation is fluid and changing rapidly. They will publish any modification to the list above as needed. You can direct any questions to Mr. York, Chief, Domestic Vessel Branch.