TVIB News U.S. Coast Guard

MSU Paducah and MSU Huntington Issue Their First COIs to Crounse Corporation

The inland towing industry’s brownwater fleet is ready for Subchapter M: Crounse Corporation receives COIs when MSU Paducah and MSU Huntington issue their first COIs

On June 27th, Crounse’s vessel the M/V Eva Kelley, was the first vessel in their fleet to receive their Certificate of Inspection (COI). Dylan Hesley, Manager of Safety, along with the shoreside team and the crew of the M/V Eva Kelley worked with MSU Paducah in submitting the required information for the COI application and getting the vessel ready for the inspection. Civilian Marine Inspector Joseph Brown said, “It is definitely a process to gather all of the required information needed for objective evidence but with constant communication between the vessel rep and the Coast Guard it can be relatively painless.” He went on to encourage companies to begin conversations with their local USCG Marine Inspectors and submit their vessel particulars as soon as possible. Submitting these details up front allows the local unit to build the vessel profile in the Coast Guard’s Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) system and move on to the step of reviewing objective evidence. Mr. Brown noted that reviewing the objective evidence takes considerable time on their part. TVIB recommends contacting each unit where a company will apply for a COI to determine their specific requirements as the USCG has not adopted a single standard. This was the first COI issued by Marine Safety Unit Paducah.

On July 13th, the M/V City of Maysville was the second Crounse vessel to receive a COI.  Mike Kidd, Port Captain, worked with the vessel’s crew and MSU Huntington to obtain the vessel’s COI. U.S. Coast Guard Commander Paul Mangini had this to say “The Coast Guard appreciates the dedication, diligence and willingness of the Crounse Corporation to put the effort in to achieve compliance with Subchapter M and supply the necessary information in order to generate the first Certificate of Inspection for the City of Maysville in the Port of Huntington/Tri-State zone.  We look forward to continued cooperation as we both work together to bring the rest of their towing vessel fleet into inspected status.” This was the first COI issued by Marine Safety Unit Huntington.

The term “uninspected towing vessel” was a misnomer placed on over 6,000 towing vessels as a way to classify them. Uninspected towing vessels, or UTVs, have been the most inspected uninspected vessels out there.  This term created a most-unearned negative connotation for the majority of the vessels as many in the inland towing industry have been participating in a third-party audited safety management system under the American Waterways Operators’ Responsible Carrier Program since the early 1990’s. Crounse Corporation is one of those companies.

What you’re seeing here is a true partnership between industry and the U.S. Coast Guard working together, to achieve a successful implementation and launch of Subchapter M. Crounse Corporation is clearly on the leading end of Subchapter M compliance. TVIB worked with Robbie Englert, Senior Vice President of Operations, along with a strong shoreside team for Crounse to be the first company to be issued a TSMS Certificate by TVIB.  The Crounse team is among our earliest and most ardent supporters. TVIB’s model is one that is shaped by the desire to raise the level of knowledge, understanding, and overall compliance with the programs for which we provide services. TVIB believes that the quality of our auditors and surveyors are the backbone of our organization. Although the phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats” is said to be a reference to economy often attributed to JFK, we believe it is quite fitting for how we think. At TVIB, we believe that when we increase the knowledge and understanding this improves the industry as a whole. We are here to be a solution and to ultimately bring about a safer maritime industry for all.

Congratulations to the crews of the M/V Eva Kelly and the M/V City of Maysville and the entire team at Crounse Corporation. Job Well Done!


USCG: Subchapter M – Certificates of Inspection (COI)

Reposted from the Coast Guard Maritime Commons

7/2/2018: Collecting information for Subchapter M certificates of inspection

Posted by LT Amy Midgett, Monday, July 2, 2018

Submitted by Cdr. Jennifer Hnatow, Domestic Compliance Division, Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance

As of June 25, 2018, the Coast Guard has issued 22 certificates of inspection (COI) to towing vessels in both the Atlantic and Pacific areas of operation. Additional inspections are scheduled between now and July 20, 2018, when Subchapter M is fully implemented. Following are several important points to keep in mind when seeking a COI:

  • The requirements for obtaining a certificate of inspection, as detailed in 46 CFR 136.210, begin when the owner/operator submits the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved Form CG-3752“Application for Inspection.” New construction vessels use Form CG-3752A. Owners/operators are only required to complete OMB-approved forms and submit the information listed in the regulations.
  • In order to collect other necessary information, marine inspectors may use job aids or checklists to help document and organize all the required information. Form CVC-FM-004(1) – “Towing Vessel Particulars,” is one example marine inspectors may use. These forms are for the marine inspectors, not owners/operators, to fill out. The marine inspector will complete the job aid/checklist using input from the owner/operator before, during, or after the initial inspection. This input could include information gained from verbal interviews, visual inspection, or review of system manuals and other pre-existing vessel documentation the owner/operators provides to the marine inspector.
  • To decrease the disruption to the vessel’s operation, the Coast Guard recommends that vessel owners/operators make any pre-existing vessel documents readily available to the marine inspector during the initial inspection. Doing so may reduce the marine inspector’s time on board the vessel and alleviate the need for follow up visits.

There is less than four weeks to go before towing vessels are required to comply with the provision ins 46 CFR Subchapter M. Owners and managing operators are encouraged to work with their local OCMI and develop a plan to ensure their vessel(s) are in compliance, allowing adequate time for the Coast Guard or a Third Party Organization to complete the required inspections, audits, and surveys necessary prior to the issuance of a COI.

For Coast Guard Subchapter M policy letters, visit the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance’s website or the Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise’s website.

Click here for the blog post on Maritime Commons

USCG: TVNCOE Updates the FAQs

06/06/2018 – The following content was published on the Coast Guard Maritime Commons blog. Reposted in its entirety.

The Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise recently published the latest additions and updates to the Frequently Asked Questions regarding Subchapter M, inspected towing vessels. As a convenience for our readers, in this post Maritime Commons is providing a compilation of those changes. To access the full library of FAQs regarding Subchapter M, be sure to visit TVNCOE’s website.

Subchapter M FAQs updated as of May 29, 2018:

Part 136 – Certifications

FAQ 136-023: How will the next drydock be determined when generating a COI?

The next drydock date will be determined by the vessel’s operations and the initial COI date:
For vessels in salt water service the date for the next drydock would need to be within 36 months of the initial COI.
For a vessel in fresh water service the next drydock would need to be within 5 years of the initial COI.
See 46 CFR 137.300 for additional details.

Part 138 – Towing Safety Management System

FAQ 138-024: Will the Coast Guard document deficiencies found while onboard inspected towing vessels utilizing a Third Party Organization and Towing Safety Management System, and if so, how?

Documentation of deficiencies by the Coast Guard will depend on the type of inspection and presence of the vessel’s TPO.
• Deficiencies identified by a vessel’s TPO will be documented by the TPO in accordance with the vessel’s TSMS.
• Deficiencies identified when both the TPO and Coast Guard are present will be documented by the TPO in accordance with the vessel’s TSMS, with the exception of an inspection for certification.
• Deficiencies identified during an inspection for certification, which will occur once every five years, will be documented by the Coast Guard.
• The Coast Guard will document all marine casualties and may document major non-conformities or an unsafe condition as per the definitions provided in § 136.110.

Coast Guard inspectors will typically inspect TSMS vessels only once in five years, unless involved in a marine casualty. However, when deficiencies are found during those inspections, it may be indicative of a failed or failing system. To ensure effective oversight of vessels that utilize a TSMS and effective oversight of their Third Party Organizations, deficiencies issued to towing vessels during Coast Guard inspections must be documented and tracked. The CG-835V, Notice of Merchant Marine Inspection Requirements, is the method to document deficiencies identified during Coast Guard inspections onboard U.S. vessels. Marine Safety Manual Volume II, Section A, Chapter 3, requires all outstanding deficiencies issued on a CG-835V to be entered into MISLE.

Refer to CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-10, Deficiency Recording and Reporting for Vessels Using a TSMS Option.

Part 139 – Third Party Organizations

FAQ 139-011: When will the Coast Guard publish a list of Third Party Organizations?

Once a Third Party Organizations is approved, it will be listed and shared on the TVNCOE website. Currently, all Authorized Classification Societies are automatically approved to act as TPOs as permitted by the Subchapter M requirements. As part of an initiative to support a smooth rollout of Subchapter M, the Coast Guard is drafting additional implementation guidance for TPOs. See also CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-04, Subchapter M TPO Guidance. This line of effort should facilitate the TSMS Option and the 24-month phased-in compliance timeline.

FAQ 139-026: Some organizations will wish to apply to the Coast Guard to become a Subchapter M third-party organization to be able to provide Subchapter M compliance verification services immediately upon publication of the final rule. Will the Coast Guard offer additional guidance on this application process, and if so, when will this guidance be issued?

Yes. Section 139.120 of this rule sets out third-party organization (TPO) application requirements. Amplifying guidance, including an application checklist for TPOs can be found in CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-04, Subchapter M TPO Guidance, posted on the Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise’s website. We expect to update this guidebook frequently based on lessons learned as the TPO program is established.

FAQ 139-027: Who may do business as an “approved third party?”

Recognized and Authorized Classification Societies, and other private commercial companies that meet the requirements and are approved by the Coast Guard, may conduct work as prescribed in Subchapter M as a TPO. Part 139 of Subchapter M sets the requirements for TPOs. CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-04, Subchapter M TPO Guidanceprovides further information.

Part 140 – Operations

FAQ 140-001: What are the PIC requirements and when will they be implemented, considering that no one other than the Master or mate/Pilot typically holds an MMC?

PIC requirements have been outlined in CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-17, Guidelines for Issuing Endorsements for Tankerman PIC Restricted to Fuel Transfers on Towing Vessels.

FAQ 140-002: OSHA Coverage – Do OSHA requirements still apply to working conditions on towing vessels covered by Subchapter M of Chapter I of 46 CFR?

Yes. OSHA’s requirements for these towing vessels will remain in effect until July 20, 2018, or when the vessel obtains its COI, whichever date is earlier. See 29 C.F.R. 136.172. However, the Coast Guard remains the lead agency and continues to receive reports of marine casualties for injuries, death, etc. as currently required by 46 CFR part 4. Beginning July 20, 2018 or the date of the issuance of a COI for a towing vessel, whichever comes earlier, existing towing vessels covered by Subchapter M will be “inspected vessels” within the meaning of the1983 memorandum of understanding between the Coast Guard and OSHA and thus the working conditions of seamen on those vessels will not be covered by OSHA. Therefore, beginning on July 20, 2018, OSHA will cover seamen only on those towing vessels that will remain uninspected vessels. See 29 CFR 1936.105 for the types of towing vessels which will remain uninspected vessels.

A further delineation of the authorities of each agency and applicable requirements is provided in OSHA’s Directive: CPL 02-01-047 (Effective date: 02/22/2010) – Subject: OSHA Authority Over Vessels and Facilities on or Adjacent to U.S. Navigable Waters and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Part 143 – Machinery and Electrical Systems and Equipment

FAQ 143-036: 1) Can tachometers and the direction of the throttle be used as thrust monitoring? This seems reasonable for smaller vessels with traditional propeller propulsion. The preamble leads me to believe the Coast Guard is looking for something more sophisticated but virtually no small vessel operators I have encountered see the value in adding more instruments (at least on smaller vessels under 65’).

1.a.) Similarly, is the Coast Guard going to accept the position of the tiller on vessel equipped with tiller style steering as an acceptable means for rudder angle indication? Again, the preamble suggests that a Rudder Angle Indicator is needed even on tiller style steering systems, but the smaller operators that I am speaking with aren’t convinced of the value.

1) In part. Tachometers and throttles must be able to accurately and continually be capable of displaying direction and relative amount of thrust of an engine and/or propulsor in the ahead or astern mode. A tachometer is one example of a method to monitor thrust. Other methods may be used to monitor thrust to comply with §143.225.

1.a) Mechanical position of the steering tiller can be used as an alternative means of rudder angle indication if the position of the tiller and rudder can be directly and physically seen by the operator at each operating station. The direction of off-centerline thrust can be displayed by the use of mechanical or electronic rudder angle indicators. The use of vessel swing meters or swing of a compass card is another example.

Part 144 – Construction and Arrangement

FAQ 144-014: Guidance is needed as to what is necessary to demonstrate vessel stability if it is questioned by a TPO or the Coast Guard.

If the stability of the vessel is questioned by either the TPO or the Coast Guard, §144.300(b)(1) cannot be satisfied and the owner or operator must be able to show compliance with either §144.300(b)(2) or §144.300(b)(3). §144.300(b)(2) allows OCMIs to witness operational testing, to determine whether the vessel has adequate stability and handling characteristics. §144.300(b)(3) offers owners and managing operators an opportunity to present documentation, records, and/or calculations to the Coast Guard to prove adequate stability.

Click here to read the full post on the Coast Guard Maritime Commons blog.