TVIB News U.S. Coast Guard

The TVIB Brief: 2023 Regulations and Revisions


USCG: Federal Register – Change to User Fees for Inspected Towing Vessels

As published in the Federal Register on 12/28/2023, the Coast Guard has issued revisions to the User Fees for Inspected Towing Vessels

  • TSMS Option – Operators under the TSMS Option will be subject to an annual inspection fee of $973.
  • CG Option – Operators under the USCG Option will be subject to an annual inspection fee of $2,184.

The final rule is effective on March 27, 2024. 

This adjustment aims to better reflect the operational and inspection costs incurred by both categories, providing clarity and ensuring that these vessels and operators comply with the requisite safety standards outlined by the USCG.

We are reviewing these changes and their implications and will provide more detailed information and guidance in the coming days.


Click here to view the notice in the Federal Register.

USCG: WI Update to Towing Vessel COI Inspections Under TSMS Option

On November 6, 2023, CVC published revision (7) to CVC-WI-013. The revision is substantial, so we are highlighting some of the major changes for you. We strongly encourage all owners, managing operators, compliance personnel, auditors and surveyors for towing vessels to read this work instruction as it is the most comprehensive source of Coast Guard policy guidance for Subchapter M towing vessels. Changes include:

  • A new “reduced risk-based inspection and certification” program for TSMS option vessels, which allows an owner or managing operator the opportunity to request a reduced scope of the inspection for COI renewal to just essential systems. The O/MO may request a reduced risk inspection at the time of COI renewal if:
    • An O/MO provides objective evidence that a full TSMS survey was conducted that year;
    • The TPO provides objective evidence that the vessel has no major non-conformities in the last 5 years; and
    • The vessel has not been issued any code 30 deficiencies by the Coast Guard in the last 5 years.
  • Providing guidance for O/MO who wish to renew their COIs early, and when the Coast Guard should maintain the same COI month and day on the renewal COI, versus resetting the COI anniversary date.
  • Incorporating the information from Coast Guard Policy Letter 17-02 and Coast Guard Policy Letter 18-01 into WI-013, and subsequently cancelling both policy letters.
  • Clarifying the definition of “initial COI” as it relates to vessels that change inspection program options.
  • Clarifying expectations for a wide variety of situations that may call for inspection program changes, including vessels changing from CG option to TSMS option, or vice versa, vessels moving between TPOs, vessels being bought/sold, etc.

Click here to view and download the full work instruction.